Architect in ChargeHitoshi Saruta
Structural EngineerKenji Nawa (Nawaken-gym)
Text description provided by the architects. Located in a terraced residential district, the lot for this project was half flat and half sloping. Nearby is Odawara Castle, built in the 15th century. The property looks down on the neighborhood that grew up around the castle, and beyond that Sagami Bay and Enoshima island in the distance. The client, who was born and raised in Odawara, wanted a relaxing home where he and his family could look out on this familiar yet constantly changing landscape.
We envisioned a mid-air space with all the core elements for daily living lifted up onto the second story, and thought about how to bring the scenery of Odawara into every room. The entryway, guest room, and music room had to be located on the ground floor, so we proposed raising everything else up above them.
The three ground-floor elements are located inside two boxy feet that support the second floor. The feet are connected by a single large slab that runs down to the road, and on top of this sits the light wood-framed structure containing the remaining rooms. The children’s bedroom is located in a section of the structure that angles down diagonally due to the slope of the road; directly below is the approach used by students who take piano lessons with the client. Outside, part of the sloped area was terraced using sheet piles so the family can grow a vegetable garden.
Passing through the dim entryway and up the stairs, one emerges into a space filled with light from large windows that overlook a sweeping view of Odawara. The gently linked rooms are divided into zones by differing floor elevations and ceiling heights, but one can enjoy the views and natural light from each space.
Lifted into the air by its strong, boxy feet, this home provides a comfortable window onto nature’s ever-changing scenery.