UE House / Geneto

© Masato Kawano

Architects: Geneto – Koji Yamanaka, Yuji Yamanaka
Location: Shiga,
Collaboration: SEKISUI FAMIS / Shichiro Nakamura
Structure Design: Takashi Takamizawa
Constructor: Daiken, Kentaro Kita
Building Area: 55,49 m2
Total Area: 101,46 m2
Photography: Masato Kawano (Nacasa & Partners)

The area we had a renovation project is an area which developed as a residence area. For people who worked in the city in the 70’s, this was the end of a high economic growth period.

© Masato Kawano

In this period, a lot of prefabricated house supply company had many housing supply activities and we can say this activity made the city landscape of this area.

Also this phenomenon is the same phenomenon with the residence area made after the Second World War. The house in this project is also a prefabricated house having a same background and it is difficult to recognize which house is my house at the first glance because most houses has similarly facade in neighborhood.

© Masato Kawano

But we started this project by trying to think this landscape made for 30 years positively. Also we set the theme as that the real meaning of renovation is keeping the landscape and how we can have a relation with it.

Thus, we tried to change the relation with the city landscape by keeping the outside design and getting the potential out of inside space and the house structure at a maximum. This house is made with some rectangular units and built by combining them.

© Masato Kawano

In the structure, each unit has the basement, the column and the beam and if those structure are kept it’s possible to make a big one room in inside. So the relation of our eyes between the window and us are created in new way by keeping the main structure and changing the level of the floor up and down.

Also by making the wall and the floor as furniture, like a sofa, you can move them and then many kind of sequence appear in the space.

© Masato Kawano

Usually people think the relation of architecture, interior and furniture has divided each other but in this project the space has a character mixed with them.

Maybe we can say that space in this project get a new relation with city landscape. So the house exists as a part of city landscape by not changing the façade but the relation with the city landscape is changed inside. We tried to answer to the theme of this project in that way.

Cite: "UE House / Geneto" 27 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=65847>

7 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    very nice project with an effective use of small space.
    maybe a bit too much timber for me, but very nice.
    i like the floor.
    i´m just wondering if the stairs really won´t break when used by people above size 0..

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Usually modern stairs in Japan are made out of thin 3mm steel sheets which are set in different ways so that they form a corrugated surface resistant enough to step on. Because the sheets are so thin they can be tucked into a nice sleeve of wood, concrete or they are just coated with paint. This type of stairs, the one with the missing riser, are usually supported by thin steel bars that go into the wall. It’s not just plain wood, and I don’t think that laminated wood would meet the safety regulations either.

      It won’t brake but if you are heavier you might feel the movement of the stairs.It is called a linear elastic deformation. This type of deformation is reversible. Once the forces are no longer applied, the object returns to its original shape. Conventional metals have moderate elastic deformation ranges.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    :)) The japanese aren’t so fat, like the rest of the world. I’m not from Japan. Actually I’m from the third place fat country in Europe :))
    Tehnicaly speach it would not break. (I hope so)

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Eili, liebe, ich bin nicht aus Deutschland. Ich komme aus Osteuropa. Eigentlich Rumänien. Das ist das Leben:))(Translate: dear, I’m not from Germany. I come from Eastern Europe. Actually, Romania. This is life:)))

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the little steel rod suspending the living room deck takes away from the “floating” effect, but otherwise a very nice + clean design!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    nice,
    but im not sure about the rationale fo rmoving the floors down. the diagram suggests that is was to o[pen up views through the windows.
    seems to me if that was the real reason, it would have been easier to just move the windows up.

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