It is difficult to site architecture on an inclined, raw site, in ‘nature’. Earthwork is always needed. When building on a steep site, usually a retaining wall is constructed and the site tiered. The earthwork and retaining structure bridge between architecture and nature. I think earthwork is, first, more “infrastructural” than architecture. Aren’t there other ways for artifice to adapt to nature more gently; a structure which is between earthwork and architecture, a little more elegant than a retaining wall? What I wished to pursue was the alternative potential in an earthwork that was only a light kind of infrastructure. The scampi-like foundation for the “bird house” hooks the house to the landscape, the result of our study of earthwork as light infrastructure. Rather than leveling the slope, it was spiked to secure it, an approach which would still guarantee we could build along the slope safely. Earthwork was originally in a secondary relationship to architecture.
By making use of site characteristics and adjacent roads at the top and bottom of the site, the reinforced concrete foundation forms a zigzag like a mountain trail connecting the two roads. This is what I call “infrastructure.” Before the building was even built, the site was barrier-free and the foundation provided construction access. At the landings formed at each turning point of the zigzag are three ‘sites’ for structures. The name “Bird House” was given to the three cute white houses nested on the foundation as if in the branches of a tree.
|location||Nagoya City, Aichi|
|total floor area||134m2|