Environment becomes Life with Rhythm
This house is located in a narrow, hilly site, in a quiet residential area. The area used to be a large residential property, but is now segmented into many smaller plots of land.
The area is environmentally rich; to the south, there is an expansive park, and to the north, a green hill. In contrast to the area’s open character, the buildings are closed off from the outside, eschewing harmony with nature for the sake of privacy.
Our task was thus one of breaking down this dichotomy – maintaining privacy while preserving the natural, open feel of the area. The logical place to begin was, therefore, the design of the windows. The dimensions and placing of the windows were carefully considered to allow for viewing of the outside landscape from the interior, while also preventing prying eyes viewing the inside of the house from the exterior.
Communication over distance in the natural environment is relatively simple – noise travels far with little in the way to stop it. Constructions, on the other hand, are structured collections of enclosed, atomic spaces, and so communication between these self-contained boxes poses more of a challenge. This, of course, is by design. However, our task was to mirror the natural environment within the construction. With regards to communication, this was all the more important as the family who would occupy the house have three children. Both vertical and horizontal channels of communication within the structure were required, and our solution for this was to center the building around a large, open staircase, connecting the entrance, children’s area, kitchen, dining room, and living room. This ‘vertical courtyard’ space attaches unique acoustics to the artificial house, normally found only in a natural environment.
Essentially, at the forefront of our design philosophy for this house was the nature of the relationship between resident, dwelling, and exterior. We attempted to produce a ‘rhythm’ within the house by manipulating the architectural variables of interior volume, direction, and movement. By considering such variables, we aimed at facilitating a ‘flow’ through the structure which the residents would produce through their daily lives. Hence our architecture harmonizes the spatial context of the structure with the ‘rhythm’ of human activity. A pattern of movement, visuals, and communication is enabled by our design, and brought to life by the residents.
- Ota-ku, Tokyo
- Site area
- Building area
- Total floor area
- Structural Engineer
- Kanebako Structural Engineers
- EISHIN Construction