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Architectural League

Competition: Folly
New York, NY

Public Seating

Hako is a folly that is a trickster of visual and spatial experience. It means box in Japanese. As an empty box, it appears to present nothing but itself, black on the outside and white on the inside. However in its walls, it carries twenty eight removable chairs and four foldable interior chairs. When all the chairs are stored in place, Hako is a black mass that imitates a charred log. When the concealed chairs are removed from the walls, it not only peels away the exterior, but the layers that compose the walls engage with the natural light to express dappled light on the interior. Hako can be experienced both intimately and from afar.

In essence, Hako is a movable storage box that provides exterior and interior seating. The exterior chairs are connected to the box by cables, providing seating arrangements for different groups. The interior chairs allow people to experience the atmospheric transformation through light while the exterior chairs are in use.

Hako is constructed of 2x4 wood framing with walls composed of many layers. 3/4” marine grade plywood stained black makes up the outermost layer. This is where the removable chairs reside. After this layer, are two white translucent screens that sandwiches 1/4” plywood with perforated patterns. Wood blocking on either side of the perforated plywood separates the screen from it, making it disappear from the inner surface. The interior floor and ceiling are made of plywood painted white to match the interior screens. Hako is constructed with wheels for easy relocation.

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