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Performance Evaluation of Mixed Technique Walls in the Architecture of Japanese Immigrants in the Ribeira Valley: The Case of the Okiyama Residence

Grant number: 23/14711-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Architecture and Urbanism Technology
Principal Investigator:Akemi Ino
Grantee:Hector Yudi Yokoyama Inafuku
Host Institution: Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de São Carlos (IAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The Suzu Okiyama Residence is an example of one of 14 cultural heritage sites protected by IPHAN (Institute of Artistic and Natural Heritage) under the title "Cultural Heritage of Immigration in the Ribeira Valley." This two-story building was constructed in the 1920s and incorporates numerous techniques and construction systems inherited from Japanese tradition. Among them, the "tsuchikabe," or "earth wall" in its literal translation, is characterized as a mixed technique according to the PROTERRA Network. It's a wall made of a wooden or bamboo framework covered with a mixture of clay, sand, and natural fibers.The tsuchikabe, or Japanese Wattle and Daub Wall, in the Suzu Okiyama House, as well as in other protected residences in the region, stands out for its uniqueness in adapting traditional Japanese techniques and knowledge to local materials and the environmental conditions of the Brazilian territory. This makes it a Japanese-Brazilian construction technique. Even after 90 years since its construction, these walls still endure with minimal cracks and detachment.This research project aims to avaluate the performance of these mixed-technique walls in this enduring structure. Identifying the materials and processes used in its construction will deepen the understanding of its potential as a construction material for architecture and earth construction. In this perspective, the project also seeks to expand studies on the cultural and material heritage of the Japanese-Brazilian community in the country.

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