Text description provided by the architects. This is a dwelling in Shizuoka Prefecture. The site has a 4-meter wide road to its east and is in an area blessed with nature and old rice fields. It is spaciously elongated from east to west. Our layout plan was launched by planting a plum tree on the west of the site.
The house is designed with the second floor as the main “living space”. The first floor is comprised of bedrooms and other private areas, while the second floor is visually one large open room, serving as a living and dining space for the family to get together. By arranging three skip-floors and an inner courtyard surrounded by glass walls, we created natural zoning between the living, dining and kitchen areas. This enables the family to feel each other’s presence while allowing the freedom for individuals to pursue their own activities. The inner courtyard gives a gentle partitioning to the house.
The arrangement of the windows allows effective ventilation and lighting to produce comfortable living conditions. They also serve to create visual rhythm. We especially valued the expressions of light from both inside and outside the house. “Daylight flowing in from outside” and “interior lighting spilling out into the night” each fulfills their respective roles.
The natural light coming into the rooms offers inhabitants a healthy and comfortable life. At night, interior lighting adds colors to the unwinding time within while giving an atmospheric expression to the outside. This consideration of “efficacy of natural outdoor light and interior lighting” was an important factor to this house.
Another feature of the house is the wide open area to its west. We can observe the relocated plum tree from here. A plum tree has a long life-span, is a representational spring-flowering tree of Japan, and is rich in expression from its fall colors to defoliation in winter. Along with the family of this house, it will weave through the cycle of atmospheric seasons over the course of time.