The site is in one of the districts, known as “land readjustment areas,” rezoned directly after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995. Most of the houses in the vicinity are three stories high, to compensate for the rezoning’s reduction of land parcel sizes, and there is very little open space around the houses except for parking spaces. The idea here was to create a “pocket environment” with a lower profile than the dense residential landscape around it.
The exterior stands out dramatically from the surrounding environment: the floor height and the height of each story were minimized so that the façade is approximately 1.5 stories in height. A 30mm-thick cedar slab is used for the second-story flooring, to achieve a floor that is rigid yet as thin as possible, which also has an inner skylight (inset not in the roof but in the second-story floor) of light-permeable material, connecting the first and second floors. The goal was “free design of the floor” à la Le Corbusier’s “free design” of façade and plan advocated in his five principles of modern architecture.
The second floor has no fixed walls, and consists of a single large room divided off with movable partitions and curtains. The long, narrow L shape of the space assists in segmenting the space for the members of a five-person family. By contrast, the first floor is reminiscent of an old-fashioned earthen-floored dwelling, with a loosely organized set of public purpose-built small rooms–guest room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.
|location||Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Pref.|
|total floor area||136m2|
|structure||wood, partly reinforced concrete