House of Burden

1998 -

“The condition of being tidied up is one that scarcely exists in our world.”
––Natsume Soseki, from Grass by the Wayside

This site is a sharply angled space at an intersection near a highway. The house has its back to the highway and features a terraced garden as well as the requisite floor space, while the first floor is set back from the road to avoid incursions by cars from the busy road, giving the building a top-heavy form when seen in cross-section.
The name House of Burden refers to the physical burden borne by the structure, which it seems must be saying “Oof!” under the weight of its contents. The client is currently living in a museum-like environment, surrounded by approximately 30 cubic meters of objects. When you think about it, though, all of us today are living among mountains of things, whether we are indoors or outdoors, picking our way through cities like explorers on overgrown paths through the jungle.
When we consider where to place the objects we use day-to-day, the storage containers that house them, and the furniture, so that things will be “tidied up,” the problem can easily be resolved by viewing the entire house as a “storehouse.” An entire step can be removed from the tree-like hierarchy of storage. Once we accept this premise, the generation of naturally occurring routes through and islands in the midst of the sea of things becomes a matter of architectural design, rather than interior design. In formal terms, the interior of the residence sidesteps the entire process analogous to modern urban planning, and is more like a hamlet that arises and proliferates naturally.

location Fujiidera City, Osaka
principal use Residence
total floor area 99m2
 structure steel frame, reinforced concrete
4 stories