An elegant mechanism / by Matthew Trzebiatowski

I have been collecting images, making sketches, creating drawings, and pondering the essence of building details. Take this example:

Screen latch; Edo Castle - Japan

Screen latch; Edo Castle - Japan

This is a latch that locks down a wood partition that screens the light / view to an adjoining courtyard in a historic Edo Period structure in Japan. The mechanism is elegant, operates flawlessly, and it is unadorned or cluttered by the use of multiple materials. The vertical bar rises out of the slot in the sill base and the cross bar slides over to hold that vertical bar in the open position. The screen is then free to slide effortlessly along the wooden sill track. The wear and patina are delightful. How may fingers have operated this lever over these many years?