Structural EngineerS3 Associates Inc.
Text description provided by the architects. This is a residential area where the magnificent nature still remains. The site is situated on a sloped land among natural forest. Two large trees with beautifully shaped branches (one is a camphor tree and the other a cherry tree) stand on top of the site. These trees are integrated into the residential design.
The entire site is steeply sloped, and the gap between the top and the bottom is as large as approximately 11 meters. And the ground composed of a rock bed is extremely hard. Considering these landscape conditions, we decided to place volumes along the sloped ground to minimize excavation.
In order to provide the best view, the main spaces are located on the top floor and the other interior spaces are connected along the slope down to the street level. We designed the spatial sequence in relation to the landscape by placing three volumes along contour lines.
The upper volume is placed right underneath the two large trees. A skylight is provided in the living room to see the trees above. The volume on the north is allocated for bathroom. The volume on the lower level contains private rooms on the first floor and a wood decked terrace on the roof, accessible from the living room. We place stairs with the same inclination as the ground at the intersection of the three volumes. The stair space is used as a library, while the stairs are designed to accommodate a large number of books.
By designing the three volumes along the landscape, diverse activities are generated and one can enjoy unique spatial sequences as they are.
A sizeable volume of rock was excavated upon construction of the garage, and it is reused as exterior finish on pavements and steps along the entryway.