This residence is located on a slope on a hill in a quiet, chic residential area. A stone wall, looking as if it has been there for a century, is built parallel to the street. The structures of different forms are composed parallel to the axis of the stone wall and intersecting it. These structures create flow line and change of sequence. Through the gate at the center of the stone wall there is a courtyard with a shallow pool with stones on the left, and to the right there is an entrance hall with a view of a natural boulder garden at the end. Moving along the wall of the entrance hall leads to the living room. There are stairs going down to the basement from the entrance hall, and stairs of weathering steel going up to the second floor. These stairs are in a direction orthogonal to the stone wall and they softly segment the space of two dining rooms, one for family and the other for guest. A glass wall between the family dining space and the living area allows a view into each space; the materials (glass, weathering steel, rough textured stucco walls) are layered, and we can feel the expanse of space.
The kitchen is placed parallel to the axis of the two stairs and between the two dining rooms, with the guest dining room facing the natural boulder garden, and the family dining room bordering the courtyard. The kitchen is on the flow line of family daily life and is the center of the home, and the atmosphere of the family can be felt here. The space containing the kitchen and family dining area has a low ceiling of narrow board-formed concrete and a homey, calm atmosphere. As for the guest dining room, using the same materials such as weathering steel for the furniture creates continuity and unity.
When designing architecture, we strive to create something that breathes into the surrounding environment. This region of Japan is famous historically as a beautiful and quiet residential area for many industrialists. Their residences from the old days still line the city street. We should respect the history this site has.
We have adopted old materials and methods such as the wall made of stone, various rough textured stucco exterior walls fitting with the townscape of this region, the wrought iron gate, and narrow board-formed concrete. We also use new materials: metal fabric and fabric glass, weathering steel, profilit glass, etc. These carefully selected materials will change with time and have a history and presence the same as the old materials. A variety of spaces were created by combining old methods and new methods.
The height of each part was necessarily determined by severe height restrictions to protect the townscape and the view in this area. Therefore, the volume on the second floor is designed to take advantage of the restrictions on the height of the eaves. The volume of the narrow board-formed concrete is placed on the stone wall vertically to emphasize the uniqueness of its form. The face of this volume shows interesting shadows which change with time because of the unevenness of the narrow board-formed concrete. Showing the roof frame maximizes the height of the interior space of this volume.
One entrance is placed on the side facing the street in consideration of privacy. Distance from the boundary line and use of materials of the walls let this residence have various expressions. On the underground level, there is a boulder garden with a site shape that can not be imagined from the road side. Utilizing the geography almost as it is minimalized the change to the natural environment. By keeping the boulders and trees that existed on the site, the environment is regenerated. Looking at the building from the slope of the boulder garden, a volume sandwiched between two horizontal members floats in the air, showing a completely different expression than that from the street side. The dining and kitchen areas located between the boulder garden and courtyard receive various winds from the courtyard and light from the boulder garden, giving it a diverse, colorful appearance.
street view—bird’s eye
kitchen and family dining room
kitchen and family dining room
kitchen and guest dining room
family dining room and kitchen
view from stairs going down to the basement
view toward entrance hall from courtyard
view from boulder garden
stairs of weathering steel going up to the second floor
Kiyoshi Ishibashi established KIAA (Kiyoshi Ishibashi Architect & Associates Co., Ltd) (1989).
KIAA is an architectural firm based in Osaka Japan. We have executed many projects: office buildings, commercial buildings, restaurants, housings, residences, shops, clinics, etc. We are also working internationally: master planning of urban development projects, embassies and consulates, etc.
Kiyoshi Ishibashi has received many awards:
Grand Prize: The 9th ‘Kenchikujin’ Awards (2017).
Special Prize: Kinki New Office Promotion Award (2011).
The Landscape Prize: The 29th Osaka MACHINAMI (townscape) Award (2010) Special Prize: The 7th Residence Design Award (2005).
The Osaka Governor’s Prize: The 23rd Osaka MACHINAMI (townscape) Award (2004).
The INAX Design Contest (1997).
The Du Pont Korean Design Contest (1990).
The Commercial Space Design Award and The Sign Design Award (1982).