Dark concrete walls form the center of this house in Ishikiri. A black archetypal house above it, a translucent lean-to roof, a white high flat roof and a silver box under it. Those totally different and inconsistent materials, colors and volumes are combined to form this house.
The site is in a residential area developed around 1930, sloping to the west on a hillside of Mt. Ikoma, which overlooks the urban area of Osaka Plain. We observed the mosaic pattern of old and rebuilt houses that told a history of over eighty years.
It was a challenge to find the proper co-ordination to the surroundings, as the site is 3.5m up from the road. This would cause that the house would look larger than its actual size. We proceeded with the design by making places step by step, searching an appropriate way of building the house that adapts to its environment.
First, we made concrete walls with rough texture by using horizontally stacked lauan plywood strips as formwork to match with old masonry and concrete-block walls in the area. Then we covered these with a black archetypal house following the roof shape of houses in the neighborhood. After that, living space is made in the way as renovating interior space.
The space for facilities to support the daily life such as a kitchen and a bathroom is made in between the concrete walls and the cliff-retaining wall behind the house, finished with a translucent lean-to roof and wooden windows and doors.
On the road side, a thin flat roof representing a modern lifestyle covers the box made of steel plates commonly used for temporary enclosure at construction sites in Japan, pretending the atmosphere of ongoing construction sites.
The design resulted in making places that are related to both “before” and “ after”. Living places are provided in space where different representations of time meet such as “concrete walls”, “an archetypal house”, “a retaining wall”, “a white flat roof” and “a box of steel plates”.
Rethinking the whole residential area from the way that this house exists would suggest us to rediscover potentials and richness of all elements and space among those with different histories in the area.
Location: Osaka, Japan
Type: Residential – Houses
Site area: 233.32m2
Building area: 61.37m2
Total floor area: 99.38m2
Architects: Tato Architects
Principal designer: Yo Shimada