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“BRASS CLINIC” is a conversion project for internal treatment.

photos by Daichi Ano

Renovation – Color Gold
Building hospitals should be the stronghold for architectonics. They are the type of the buildings that accommodate the plane geometrics most reasonably, and everybody expects that. The idea of affluence in space and luxury brings redundancy in flow diagram, and reduces efficiency in medical treatment. That is why the hospital architecture tends to look just like a diagram without any frills. Namely, there is no logic needed other than rationality for hospital architecture. Of course, the architect is always ready to propose several ideas on designing, yet somehow unconsciously bound to this strong rationality. Therefore, even designing a walk-in clinic in a commercial building in downtown, the architect cannot get out of this strong hold of rationality.

The buildings that accommodate the plane geometrics should be most convincing, and everybody expects that.
In this environment where the rationality comes as the top priority, I did not plan to bring the new criteria. Rather, I thought that bringing the logic that has been available for centuries and utilize it to the ultimate level may distinguish itself; for example the material used. In this Brass Clinic, I used a great deal of brass, for copper and its alloys including brass have strong antimicrobial property against deadly pathogens. In 2008, EPA officially approved its public health claim, and it was the first solid metal material that has been approved. At the time I started to work on this project, H1N1 flu hit the world, and the study showed the virus in contact with brass can be killed within 1 hour. That is the rationality that can be brought – brass can help reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections. So I determined to use brass as much as possible on the touch-surface; door, furniture, other fixtures, even on the counter-top of the reception and treatment table.
Un-oxidized brass shines golden. I must admit I had some hesitation to use this flashy color. We are somewhat hesitant to use the golden color. I think it is because we do not like something superficial and false. We try to avoid shams. Adding golden color to what is not worth gold is the process of meaningless concoction. If contemporary architecture has tried to avoid the use of “Color Gold” just because in attempt to be rid of this superficial fabrication, we are yet to determine the meaning of using the material that has the “Color Gold”. Then, when the “Color Gold” is conjured for its logical rationality, it does provide the true meaning. Assuming the antimicrobial effect of brass will be verified further, I hope the color of brass, golden may become the standard in the medical environment. Currently all the medical environments are filled with pastel tone such as shaded pink and pale green without rationality, but in the near future, I expect the color of brass with thoroughly rationalized meaning can be the default for the medical space. When that happens, it gives me the utmost happiness.


  1. […] 殺菌作用を持つ真鍮をあらゆる環境表面に使用した「BLASS CLINIC」が、医療機関における銅および銅合金の普及に重要な役割を果たすであろうとのことで、銅の殺菌作用を研究されている北里大学の笹原先生と共に呼ばれ講演を頼まれたのです。 […]

  2. […] 医療福祉建築4月号にBRASS CLINICが掲載されています。 […]

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