Modern house adapted from traditional Japanese design vocabulary
House like a Museum, located a five-minute walking distance from the railroad station, sits in a commercial / residential zone. As such, the neighbouring houses and shops encroach upon the site rather closely, so much so that from the start the idea to 'look out' from the property was abandoned, an instead 'look inward' approach was adopted.
Since the client-owner had a vast amount of art collection and wished to display such art in the new house, the theme 'House like a Museum' became the design generator.
The theme 'Go in to go out' was applied to the design of this house and, as a result, the rectangular silhouette of the house was pushed to the boundary limits of the 776 square meter property in the center of which was placed a 15-meter diameter circular patio. The thrust of the planning was to allow each and every room to face and to have a view of this central garden.
Finish material for the exterior is basically diatomite over exterior insulation, while for the interior it is predominantly Japanese stucco-paint for walls and ceilings and either bamboo laminates or limestone for the floors. Bamboo laminates are used for all built-in and movable furniture as well, the reason being bamboo, in contrast to wood, grows much more rapidly and hence more eco-friendly.
In the same vein, much effort has been made to borrow from and apply the wisdom of traditional Japanese sustainability design, such as the 'Engawa' (peripheral corridor) that fuses or separates as required the inside and the outside, 'Tsuboniwa' (tiny patios), 'Hisashi' (roof overhangs), 'Tsuufuu' (cross ventilation), selected use of evergreens and non-evergreens and roof gardens for extra geothermal insulation. All these are 'passive' means of applying natural energy efficiency instead of 'forced' mechanical methods expending unnecessary energy.