The proposal for the Yashiki Mori competition by HOLDUP elaborates on the Yashiki-rin housing typologies as a protection from environmental aggressions: windbreak forest (hot summer wind, cold winter wind, sandblast), barrier against fire, sunshade, air-purifier (carbon dioxide absorber and oxygen provider), sound-proof shield, etc. This natural eco-system composed of hedges and high trees circling the house could preserve wildlife, supply bamboo or lumber as construction material, fuel or fertilizer. It perfectly fits today’s concerns, i.e. keeping some distance with the surroundings but preserving openness at the same time. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In the past decades, transportation and communication technologies came to conquer wider territories, in parallel of a global city sprawl effect. Consequently, places that were actually remote are now physically and virtually connected, in a local, national or even international scale. As a result, we observed the birth of a hybrid “rurban” land, resulting from the progressive braiding of rural and urban areas. This evolution eventually generated new prospects coming with a fresh economy, original social relations and uncommon lifestyles. This phenomenon marks the advent of a new era where city and country aren’t necessarily antinomic, but are progressively merging.
The lack of structure and quality of suburban spaces makes it definitely difficult to rely on surroundings to build a project. Japanese houses are quite often turned inward to avoid embarrassing views or even to cope with possible disturbances from the outside (shadow, noise, view, access). Indeed, the house mainly seem enclosed from the outside. From the inside, the house is like settled in a forest clearing, taking advantage of a view, wide sun exposure, fresh air and quietness.
Smarter behavior being always the source of change, eco-friendly technologies aren’t considered as a prior to shape the house, but lifestyle survey and volumes arrangement will be. With a dense core on the inside, optimized and condensed to fit all the main rooms without comprising any circulation, the house is naturally energy-efficient: only spaces where people stay are fully insulated, heated or cooled. Serving spaces, placed like a loop climbing around the structure, are simply protected from climate: no energy will be wasted where people only pass very briefly.
This double-skin system is a natural device which increases the house passivity and impact on its environment on every aspect, to “synchronize” the house with the weather. Winds are directed for natural ventilation, which is equivalent to a primary layer of aerial insulation. Sun exposure (light and heat) is filtered depending on the season, with high and bright summer rays blocked, low and soft summer rays allowed. Rain is repelled on the sides, but collected on the rooftop for domestic use (plants, garden, washing machine, car wash, toilets, etc.).