In the Corners of this House

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The site is located in the woods facing the road on northeast, with a small flat area in front of a steep slope descending towards southwest. As the design strategy, a 119㎡rectangular single-story building was placed on the flat area to block the noise from the road, and to take in the sunlight precious in the cold climate while opening up the view towards the maple and cherry trees on the south and west side.

熱を奪われにくい矩形の平面で、南西側の窓は森に向かって最大限の開口を確保した。 photo

While the rectangular plan helps to prevent heat loss, the window facing southwest secures the maximum opening towards the forest.

玄関には浅間石と、茶室などで用いられる錆丸太を設えた。 photo

Asama stone and naturally molded (“rusted”) log used in tea rooms are used at the entrance.

外壁はスギ羽目板を裏面で使い、縦張りとした。下部は、南側の基礎の高さに合わせた砂利の洗い出し仕上げとした。 photo

For the exterior wall, cedar panels were laid out vertically with its reverse side out. The lower part was finished with exposed aggregate at the height of the foundation on the south side.

The client, a lawyer who specializes in architecture and art, and his family, desired a collaborative work between the mountain villa and commissioned artworks by Noritaka Tatehana. For many years, we have aimed to induce human behaviors and allow them to resonate through architectural design. Therefore, we decided to value the sensations that emerge from human behavior in response to such simple architecture that complements the landscape and art. The restrained form of expression was rather suitable for bringing them to surface.

リビングの壁は和室に向かって窄まり、隣の寝室の面積を確保し、南側からの視線を和室へ誘導する。 photo

The wall of the living room narrows towards the Japanese-style room, securing the area of the adjacent bedroom while guiding the line of sight to the Japanese-style room from the south side.

同じモチーフを透過度の異なる障子紙で表現した障子によって、空間的奥行きを作り出した。 photo

The same motif of Mount Asama was created using shoji paper with different degrees of transparency to give a spatial depth.

床の間の下地窓にはペアガラスの内側に光学ガラスのブロックを積み上げている。 photo

Optical glass blocks are stacked on the inside of the double-glazing side window of tokonoma (the alcove).

この地域の山岳信仰に合わせて、舘鼻氏には噴煙の中で火山雷が轟く浅間山の絵画を製作してもらい、浅間山方向に設けた和室の床の間に祀った。 photo

In keeping with the region's mountain beliefs, Mr. Tatehana, the artist, created a painting of Mount Asama’s volcanic thunder amidst its volcanic smoke, which was enshrined in the alcove of the Japanese-style room facing Mount Asama.

寝室の書斎コーナーの小窓を開けると、下地窓越しに和室とつながる。 photo

When you open the small window in the study corner of the bedroom, the space connects to the Japanese-style room through the exposed lath window.

The interior was divided into four levels along the gentle slope of the site: dining/kitchen, living room, Japanese-style room, and tokonoma (alcove in the Japanese-style room). The strategy prevented the need for costly high-foundations, while perfectly aligning the eye level of the sitting position on the floor in the Japanese-style room and of the sofa/dining chair. Also, with the addition of the study in the bedroom, the four rooms (dining room, living room, Japanese-style room, and study) were provided with comfortable corners with windows, allowing a line of sight from each to connect through the kitchen corner. While a corner opens to the outside world, it provides a comfort and calmness. It is a gentle place where anyone can approach and feel safe, as if their backs are wrapped around. If each person sits in their own corner, a feeling of connection will be created where they can easily make eye contact, while maintaining a sense of appropriate distance and ownership of the space.

鉄分が多く風化した表面と内部との色の違いが美しい、皮付きの伊達冠石テーブル。 photo

The Date Kan stone table with a natural stone texture left around the edge has a beautiful color contrast between the iron-rich weathered edge and the polished tabletop surface.

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ダイニング、リビングそれぞれに窓辺のある入隅を設けた。垂木はアールをつけ、柔らかな印象を与えた。 photo

The dining room and living room each has a corner with a window sill. The edges of the rafters are rounded to soften their presence.

南の角には玄関と同じヒノキの錆丸太を設え、周辺の木立 と連続させている。軒先で折れた屋根が、内外の垂木の連続を視覚的に強調する。 photo

The south corner is supported by the same naturally molded cypress log used at the entrance, creating continuity with the surrounding trees. The eave of the roof is tapered down instead of tapering the rafter ends to visually emphasizes the continuity of the rafters from the interior and to the exterior.

There is a unique sense of unity and comfort created when the behavior and line of sight of people with their backs to the corners correspond to each other. The aim was to create something that cannot be expressed through images or by words.

建物は周りの樹木の枝にぶつから ないように平屋とし、軒先はテーパーをかけて枝の下に潜り込ませた。 photo

The building was kept as a one-story building to avoid interfering with the branches of surrounding trees while the eaves were tapered down to fit under the branches.

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Completion
2021.10
Principal use
Guest house
Structure
Timber
Site area
1,428㎡
Total floor area
108㎡
Building site
Gunma
Structure design
Kanebako Structural Engineers
Construction
Daiichi Kensetsu Co.
Team
Shunichiro Sasaki [former staff], Aki Nishida