- Structural Engineer:Takuo Nagai
- Constructor:Ltd. Amematsu Builders
- Lead Architect:Ryuichi Ashizawa
Text description provided by the architects. The project is a house dedicated to a family of four who lives on the slope of Awaji Island. On the 986.54 m² site, a design that considers the temperate nature of Awaji Island as well as the family’s distinctive, nature-conscious approach to all aspects of life, was planned. In response to its’ context, the house combines locals’ timber dwelling construction with a unique form, consisting of a continuous spiral that rises towards the central space.
The inner and outer walls were first clad with woven bamboo lattice, its’ walls and floors then covered with Sanwa Earth finish. The floor uses a technique called Tataki, a hard-packed earthen floor, resistant to high foot traffic consisting of earth, lime, and water, beat until solidification. In the winter, during the day the earth-covered walls and floors absorb heat from the exterior. At night the heat is released, keeping the interiors warm.
During summer, due to stack effect created by the height difference between the central space and the rest of the house, wind flows from the exterior towards the center and cools the interior From the entrance, rooms are accessed by means of the main corridor. Starting from the storage, one will walk past the cloakroom, bedroom, and bathroom, leading towards the living – dining – kitchen area with glass doors to view and access the exterior garden.
Walking further inside leads one to the partially enclosed central space with an operable skylight above it. Climbing the ladder leads to children’s bedroom on the loft, overlooking the living room. The roof is a spiral garden where nature rises from the earth towards the sky. Its’ spiral shape provides varying parameters such as height, sun exposure, and humidity, enabling to roof to be populated with all sorts of plants with different growth requirements. When it rains, water soaks the roof garden and flows down towards the retaining ponds.
As habitats for the aquatic plants, in the summer the ponds also cool incoming wind, providing a comfortable breeze for the interiors. Aside from being fertile grounds for the herbs and trees to thrive, the landscape of the entire site was planned comprehensively as a closed cycle, which includes an energy generation system that also serves as a playground for children, complemented with an outdoor kiln, a bath, and a compost toilet. With the passing of time, the house would fuse with nature, resembling a natural organism in harmony with the environment.