QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A design isn't finished until somebody is using it"
Brenda Laurel
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House in Hieidaira08. Nov2011

TAGS: house, wood, japan
Designed by Tato Architects

The residence is located at the foot of Mt. Hiei near the border of Kyoto and Shiga.
The client is an artist, who needed an atelier and a home for his family, as well as a place for his parents whom he wishes to live together in the future. With a regulation that mandates sloped roofs, the site is surrounded by gable-roofed houses which seem to provide a sense of calmness in the neighborhood. Accordingly, we developed a plan that fits to the surrounding environment of this hillside residential area. The site was not large enough to accommodate all the needs of the client. In addition, we were informed that an atelier may cause noise and odor.

Taking these constraints into consideration, we developed a plan in which three independent cottage-style houses--an atelier and two mini houses (one for the client's family and the other for his parents)--are arranged in such a way to share the watering and drainage area.

The construction of the atelier was simplified to meet the low-budget limitation. Cement excelsior boards, serving as fire-resistant thermal insulators and bearing wall structures, were attached to the structure, which were then covered with corrugated polycarbonate plates. Thermal storage using night time electricity is buried under the ground to provide underfloor heat through the foundation. Bare concrete is used as the finished floor. Likewise, walls and roofs display bare structural materials, which allows the artist/client himself to renovate the building according to the client’s changing needs. The large opening is created on the north side of the building to provide natural sunlight illumination. In addition, cement excelsior board can be removed to receive sunlight from various parts of the walls. The size and arrangement of windows of the two dwelling houses are scaled to follow the proportion of conventional cottage style, which has an effect of making the houses look smaller than they actually are.

via Yatzer

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