Structural Engineer: Kenji Nawa
Text description provided by the architects. This is a plan for a site, which can be called a cliff with a maximum elevation difference of 14m and a maximum slope angle of about 70 degrees. The biggest draw of this site is the views of the sea horizon and rich greenery. The house was planned with consideration of maximizing the utilization of its appeal. At the first visit to the site, an unplanted grove of large zelkova and maple on the site was as characteristic as the beautiful views.
A plan was sought to leave the trees and to create a scenery in which the building blends in. An intuitively germinated image there was of a floating birdhouse with a pointy delta-shaped roof, hanging from a big tree. However, a method to levitate a birdhouse without ground was hard to find, and various discussions were had. As a result, a method was selected in which a birdhouse was fixed as if hooked on a block of RC, which was embedded into the ground. The cantilever with a 4m x 13m flat surface, which supports the floating birdhouse, is supported by an RC slab and narrow steel-frame branches.
The way of letting natural light into the interior space allows one to feel the purity of the sunlight, as well as intensifies the beauty of the shadows, which is at the extreme opposite of the light. Walls are arranged to dramatically invite the strong light. A gradation of shading, which is visualized by trimming and manipulating light, causes retinal shrinkage as well as reminds us of the traditional Japanese appreciation of “shadow” parts. Depending on the amount of light, grace and modesty are born in the space and the space becomes dignified and silky.