- KASA Architects
locationAgeo, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Architect in ChargeShin Kasakake
Construction FremSakagami corporation.inc
Text description provided by the architects. This building is a residence for a young couple and their father. The site is located in Ageo, Saitama in an area of around 25-year-old houses and scattered fields. I believe that this project was called to give form to a new living arrangement based on a "1.5 household" rather than "two household" home, consisting of the father, who built a house on this land 25 years ago, the wife, who was born here and works in Tokyo, and the husband, who has recently joined the family here.
In rebuilding the existing home within a stricter floor area ratio and building to land ratio than before, it was necessary to devise a design that considered how to make use of the maximum allowable building to land ratio and floor area ratio, while also ensuring appropriate space for the family, and appropriate distance from the surroundings.
The exterior is a 4.55m x 9.10m plane, with a lean-to roof shape. In determining the height, I chose the building height of 8.00m as it is just the height of the north-facing slant and the largest measurement for sheet metal that could be carried to the site on the 4m-wide surrounding roads.
Amid the closely situated surrounding buildings, the site plan places an air volume on the southern side to guarantee light throughout the day, as well as the flow of wind, and privacy.
The plan is for a "1.5 household" home with the first floor for the father and the second floor for the young married couple; the first floor includes the father's bedroom, kitchen, and a joint entrance, closet, bathroom, and dressing room, where the dressing room is a shared space that forms a buffer zone with the father's area. The design tries to keep the functions within the new stricter limitations to a minimum, and gives roles to the spaces in order to enrich the new living arrangement.
The second floor is a simple layout, with the young couple's living room/dining room/kitchen and bedroom, and an open space was realized in the limited plane by securing the largest ceiling height and loft while still staying within the building's height envelope. In the living room/dining room/kitchen, which has a upper ceiling height of 4.0m, the ventilation opening is placed only 0.9m from the floor as a horizontal window, lowering the room's center of gravity and making it into a calm space, while also promoting circulation by causing a draft effect due to the large vertical distance from the skylight.
I was reminded through this project that although empty houses are typically considered a problem, it is actually the form of the family that is the issue. I believe the "1.5 household" home living arrangement is one approach to a new residential style.