The overall layout of the house is inspired on the tatami arrangement of the traditional 4,5 matt Japanese tea room. Both the exposed roof rafters as well as the floor lay-out is designed along this principle. Moreover, the two boxes that slip out of the facade are exactly the size of the tearoom. One box is the wet cell while the other is a tatami room. The advantage of this lay-out is that it softens the inherent symmetry of the square, in tune with Japanese traditional design aesthetics.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The client sought to build a one story house full of light whilst protective of privacy. In response a square open plan lay-out was designed of 9.1 x 9.1 m based on the Japanese module for timber structures with high side windows, at each corner of the house, in order to create an interior with abundant natural light. These four 2. 7m high windows with light catchers, look like Four Ears against the sky, while the center rooflight works as a sundial.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The open plan guarantees the feeling of lightness, because all four high-side windows remain visible, but also allows for an even distribution of cooled (summer) or heated (winter) air. The zoning is designed for flexibility. A storage unit between the living zone and the sleeping zone together with two columns compose of a square in the center of the house purposed to be the living area, the core of daily life. All functions are grouped around this central square. The sleeping zone spans the whole width of the house and can be freely separated into three smaller zones by the movable wardrobes.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Design period: November 2013 - August 2014
Construction period: August 2014 - March 2015
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Timber structure, main rafters engineered wood | Facades: exterior woodfiber insulation with Japanese cedar slats and wood fiber cement board (the two boxes) | Roof: Fiber Reinforced Plastic | Interior: Gypsumboard and spruce veneer, floors birch plywood | bathroom and entrance: tiles
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Plot size; 202 m2
The square plan is 9.1 m x 9.1 m or 10 times the current Japanese module for timber structures of 910 mm. Habitable surface: 87.8 m2, Ceiling height 3.04 m, height to highest point 5.12 m, parking for 2 cars and 4 bicycle.
house, private, design, architecture, ears, light, japanese, tea room, tatami, high side windows
The architecture was determined through research into passive energy efficiency. Insulation; heath loss and gain control by an exterior wood fiber insulation board of 40 mm in combination with 100 mm insulation between the posts. Ventilation; cross ventilation through operable parts in the four high side windows and the roof light. Glass and shading; only 8,74 % of the façade is glass to reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. Thermal mass; The foundation is designed as to function as a heat sink, helping to reduce heating and cooling energy.
One of the biggest challenges was to come up with a solution for the contradictory requirement for a house to be both protective of privacy as well as awash with natural light. Windows couldn't be placed at eye height because of the privacy issue. Therefore, the solution was found in placing four windows at each corner high in the facade and sticking out above the roofline, hence creating the characteristic form of the house.
TEAM MEMBERS (6) :
Architects: Frank la Rivière Architects inc, Frank la Rivière (principal in charge), with Nakata Hirotaka, Structural engineers: A.S. Associates, Suzuki Akira, Mechanical engineers: Piloti inc, Oguma Masaharu, Contractor: Seiwa Komuten, Katsumura Toshihiko, Hisato Hiroshi and
Image 1: Frank la Riviere, FRA inc 2015
Image 2: Frank la Riviere, FRA inc 2015
Image 3: Frank la Riviere, FRA inc 2015
Image 4: Frank la Riviere, FRA inc 2015
Image 5: Frank la Riviere, FRA inc 2015