LocationAshiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Architect in ChargeSoichi Yamasaki
From the architect. It is a two-story wooden house built in Ashiya City in Hyogo Prefecture. The site is in the residential area quite near from the station. While located on a corner of downtown, facing streets on its East and South sides of the relatively spacious block, the house gives an ambience of open space. But, the traffic on the streets just in front is busy, and company dormitories, shops and houses lining up the streets present a rather congested landscape.
The client wanted an open, expansive space. Considering the location on a street corner and the request of the owner, I planned as open a house as possible. On the other hand, in view of the surrounding environment and requirements for privacy, a certain constraint was necessary. So, I designed to place a major space on the second story and have it surrounded by a high “parapet wall” which has level continuous windows installed on top of it.
The parapet wall was 1.6M high, which is as tall as people’s heights and eye lines. At standing positions or while seated on a sofa, you have to look up to see the outside landscape. This will help block the congested landscape from entering your eye sight. Of course, from outside the house, you will not be able to see inside the house, so that your privacy is protected. Above the level continuous windows, there is a beam across to hold decorative rafters running radially. The high “parapet wall” and the decorative rafters provide a living space for the family, wrapped up in an open and comfortable way.
Looked from outside, the house is topped with the roof made of dressed lumbers placed on the plaster wall of natural soil.
Eaves of the roofing project into the air all around the cut street corner, casting shadows on the window. Down at the foot below, a little garden was set in the limited space. Planted with short and middle-height trees and flowers that adorn the streets, the garden boasts about 5-meter tall tamo and Griffith’s ash trees whose wavering leaves in the wind can be seen from upstairs rooms. The house proposes a linkage of indoors and outdoors in abodes located in downtown as structured at body dimensions.