Residenze - abitazioni
This energy efficient house, for a couple with their two young sons, stands out between the ready-made houses that surround it through its four ears roof shape. On a 202 m2 plot in the New Town Tsukuba, developed since the 1960s and now famed for its University and research center, the client sought to build a one story house full of light whilst protective of privacy. In addition to this the brief required the possibility to use the space flexibly, wheel chair access, a Japanese room and furthermore space for a vegetable garden, parking for 2 cars and 4 bicycle, all on a small budget. To satisfy the requirements concerning the exterior use of the plot, a square plan emerged that was sized 9.100 x 9.100 or 10 times the current Japanese module for timber structures of 910 mm square as the most adequate solution. Amongst the housing typologies in Japan the one story house is popular type for its compactness, economy and earthquake resistance. A type of house dominated by their roof forms a characteristic shape for the roof was developed. The idea was to use high side window, often found in museums, at each corner of the house, in order to create and interior with abundant natural light. Therefore four vertical windows of 2. 7m height with light catchers behind, that look like Four Ears one at each corner, protruding beyond the overall height of the house where designed to stand out high against the sky. Through these Four Ears each facing another direction, light is projected both deep into the interior as well as reflected off the white perimeter walls giving the house its lightness. The roof light in the middle of house projects a light beam that floats through the center of the space, working together with the four high side windows as a sort of sundial and lighting up the corners at different times during the day. To make this effect work to the best an open plan was designed, in which areas were determined by the placing of two square boxes, one containing the Japanese room and the other the wet cell. In addition to this, a storage unit functioning as a screen was placed between the living zone and the sleeping zone. This screen together with two columns compose of a square in the center of the house purposed to be the living area, the core of daily life. All other functions are grouped around this central square. The sleeping zone spans the whole width of the south-west side and can be freely separated into three smaller zones by the movable wardrobes to allow for flexibility of lay-out. On the opposite side a long counter with integrated kitchen is designed spanning the whole width of the house. The two square boxes, finished in wood fiber cement board, sized 4.5 tatami mats reference to Japanese tea rooms, while the overall layout of the house follows the tatami arrangement of tea rooms expressed in the direction of the roof rafters and the birch plywood flooring. In this way the inherent symmetry of the square is softened and dynamism is introduced. The walls are a plasterboard painted in a light gray as to reflect the natural light. The highly insulated facades finished in cedar planks of various widths in an irregular pattern. Topped off with the white Four Eared roof, seamlessly constructed in white Fiber reinforced plastic. High levels of insulation, minimization of glazing and the use of the heat mass of the foundation concrete are the major aspects of the energy efficiency strategy.
CittàTsukuba-city, Ibaraki, Japan
Superficie Lorda (mq)87.8
ArchitettiFrank la Riviere Architects inc
Design TeamFrank la Rivière (principal in charge), with Nakata Hirotaka, Kanari Ryu, Arikumi Kousuke
Main ContractorSeiwa Komuten
ConsulentiStructural engineers: A.S. Associates, Suzuki Akira, Mechanical engineers: Piloti inc, Oguma Masaharu
FotografiFrank la Riviere Architects inc
Frank la Rivière, Architects Inc is a multi-disciplinary and internationally oriented architectural practice based in Tokyo. Our approach is centered on a thoroughly contemporary design language, with recurring themes such as lightness, transparency, continuous flow of space and trueness to the nature of the materials used. We work to create richly varied environments that are responsive to the needs of its occupiers and result in stimulating spatial experiences. Design solutions are subtracted from a cultural, social and programmatic analysis, whilst climate characteristics, the site and its restrictions, as well as available techniques are other sources of inspiration. Technology aids to redirect conventions dominant in the production of architecture, allowing for innovation but and improvement of energy efficiency of our buildings. We belief, that a fusion of all these aspects will create more humane environments, with more agreeable spaces for the people who use them.