Located at the foot of Mt Mainichi in Japan’s Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, this
86m² private residence designed by Yabashi Architects and Associates, led by Tohru Yabashi, is situated in a residential area that follows the contours of the mountain and a new residential area with a mixed variety of housing. The client – a couple – wished to live a tranquil life while also being able to enjoy the mountains and the sky. Another requirement was parking space for three cars when their parents and friends come to visit them. Also, the structure had to be a single storey. The architect conceptualised a long and narrow plan excluding the parking lot from the site.
The key to ensuring the necessary and sufficient privacy was to capture the landscape from a chimney-like window. The size and position of the window are determined by the angle of the view that crops the surrounding houses and roads. The walls are separated by half-open walls, which prevent the boundary walls from dividing the landscape. Half-open walls allow one to see the mountains horizontally from anywhere in the house. This spatial structure also contributes to a stable lighting and air environment.
The combination of chimney-like windows that share the light with the landscape and the semi-open structure that connects the indoor and outdoor creates a section buffer with the external environment. The appearance has the dual effect of exposing the structure of the ceiling that is illuminated at night. Elevation acts as a medium to convey a strong presence and participates in the landscape of the residential area.
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Photo: Yashiro Photo Office
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