The site of this project was a vacant, untouched plot of land next to the existing suburban residence. Fortunately, the surrounding of the site is under the management of the city authority as a green space, and it will be kept as it is in the future–therefore the client hoped to maintain the feel of nature in their daily lives, while enjoying the time spending on gardening or having meals outside of the house. Then, we proposed a simple, hut-like residence corresponding to the scenery; from inside, the surrounding nature is to be enjoyed as a view; when staying outside, being the integral part of the nature is to be appreciated.
The 1st floor consists of three zones, including a living area, a dining and kitchen area, and a utility area, while each area is divided by a slit of ‘doma’ space – dirt floor space in exposed concrete finish – , allowing them to have the sense of continuity from the exterior space to the interior space. The bedroom is allocated on the 2nd floor, clearly distinguished as a private space to be hidden like an attic, compared to the open atmosphere of the spaces on the 1st floor.
The floor levels are designed to be a skip floor, in corresponding to the topographic conditions of the site. The dining and kitchen area is sunken into the ground–this enables the dining table and the terrace to be at the same height, giving integrated feeling with the garden, while the garden and the scenery beyond the site may be viewed at the eye level from the kitchen.
The openings of the house are fitted with grid windows, so that the surrounding nature can be taken into the daily life as symbolic, filtered and framed view through this architectural gesture. The transom openings produced by the structural conditions allow to bring in soft indirect light throughout the daytime, providing openness to the interior space.
Responding to the concept of a “hut”, the main structure of this house is produced in wood, while the roof is designed to be a simple truss structure with vertical struts in steel. In order to maintain the openness of the interior space with the sloped ceiling, the roof truss is exposed, yet the thin steel frames of the trusses maintain delicacy and make it possible to be harmonized with the interior space.
The accumulation and balance of each design element of the house enables the residents to enjoy sophisticated, yet simple and unpretentious daily lives. Even if technologies or the sense of value change in times, we hope this architecture, designed to fulfill the universal desire to feel nature, will be appreciated and loved for a long time.
Location: Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Building area: 245.41 sqm
Total Floor Area: 149.26 sqm
Architects: Naoi Architecture & Design Office
Photographs: Hiroshi Ueda