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House in Nagoya

At the last station of one of the subway lines in a metropolis. In the evening crowds of people pour out the ticket gates. Some people transfer to buses, others hop on their bicycle or head back to their homes on foot. The mass of people gradually thins out as people move further from the station, at every branch in the path, until one reaches home, most often alone. There may be a family waiting at home, but this branching of paths still continues within the home. The residents of a home have separate rooms where once activities such as eating or bathing are undertaken, they may finally go to the room at the end of their path and reach the place where they will go to sleep. Rooms are temporary end-points in time throughout the day as well as being arranged spatially on the fringe of the home.

In contrast to the complexity of functions in a city centre, bed-towns take on a clear tree-like structure. The slight uncomfortable feeling that can be associated with this type of ordered surburban cityscape, may be a result of this structure. In this type of area, the design of a home was at risk of accommodating the idea of being the “end-point” of the branches of a huge tree structure. However, by not allowing this house to become a “dead-end”, we were able to try and introduce a small resistance to the branching tree idea.

Metal is hard and heavy. It is intrinsically not an easy material for humans to relate to. However, this same material can moulded and formed into a necklace and be folded so as to be placed in a jewellery box, or can follow the lines of the body when worn. All the pieces are simply linked together, so their movement is highly flexible and it is this flexibility through the connections that gives the necklace its delicate nature. In the same way, by connecting these rectangular “dead-end” rooms into a ring, then by folding or bending this ring where necessary, we considered it might be possible to create an architecture that followed the resident’s lifestyle, giving delicacy to a building that could have not otherwise escaped its own rigidity and heaviness.

The carefully folded chain of rooms may look from the outside like a gathering of volumes huddled together, but on the inside the interior spaces are linked in a smooth ring. Each room is subtly differentiated from the one next to it, by slight changes in floor level or the rotation of the room. As if a chain were suddenly broken, the rooms spread randomly along the ring. The central courtyard, to which every room has a view and the exposed joists, parallel throughout the whole house, give the home its unity.


Location:Nagoya city, Japan

Structure:Wooden, 2 Storeys

Site Area:167.92㎡

Building Area:67.05㎡

Total Floor Area:134.10㎡

期間:2009.01-2009.10 (Design)、2009.10-2010.03 (Construction)

設計:worklounge03- + OUVI(worklounge03-:Daisuke Tofuku, Takemori Hiroomi, Tong Ling,  OUVI:Shin Yokoo, Yasutomo Yasuda)

Construction:Sugimoto-Gumi Corp. (Takao Sugimoto, Kazushi Kani, Nobuchika Kato)

Photo:Shinjiro Yamada

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