A suburban-type live-work setting called SOHO in Japan (Small office/ Home office is a common typology in Japan) on a site in the calm hilltop residential quarter developed in the late 1940s. The client is a couple, both linguists working in different universities. The house is named ‘SoHo’ after the couple’s nicknames. Their professional needs required 30% of the floor area to be occupied by shared work space; a space too vast to call it a study. With this, a ‘lab’ was created on the lowest floor having functions of work space, entrance hall and reception room all combined. In fact the kitchen and the dining area are located alongside in the same space. There, the dining table is equivalent to the seminar table.
The overall structure consists of 5 layers of skipped floors, based on the existing vertical difference of the double-tiered site, planned as a single-room space with higher privacy and comfort as one climbs up each floor. This is why there is no angle from which one may have a full view of the space. The view is pulled up and down, drawn back and forth between the lab, the living room, the bedroom and the loft respectively. Four sets of stairs ascend to increasingly, shelf-like spaces above. The white box accommodating spaces of relatively higher privacy features openings in accordance with environmental care and requirements from inside. It is held in the air by means of 5 steel-tube columns, making room beneath for the lab.
A large quantity of shelves and storage is needed for both their research and everyday lives. The entire northern wall is turned into a multi-purpose storage wall. It connects the upper and lower floors as a piece of sequenced interior, and as a background of life. Partitioning flat bars serve not only as book-ends but also as part of the main structural body. The exterior of the northern wall is covered with horizontal folded plates which double as finishing but also carry structural load. Some of the plates are in FRP in order to create light slits in the storage wall.
|location||Takarazuka City, Hyogo|
|total floor area||104m2|
|structure||steel frame partly reinforced concrete