Coastal residence in Japan built with a single purpose in mind...
EASTERN Design Office has just completed a rather unusual residential project on a Japanese coastal plot in Mie Prefecture. Approached by an elderly client, the practice was challenged to design ‘A house awaiting death' as the gentleman wasn't to live for more than fifteen years. It immediately became apparent that the nearby sea was to play an integral part in this project, with the ocean only 150m from the 440 sq m site.
The only key stipulations set down by the private client was that the property should face East (‘I hate the sunset') and that it should provide extensive viewing across the magnificent seascape. The shore itself is hidden by a breakwater wall, therefore EASTERN Design Office raised the single-roomed structure so that the sea would be visible above this immovable barrier.
Since the brief supplied was so limited, the practice concentrated on developing these two main points. In the left corner of the room was installed a ‘reclining wave-viewing wooden lounge' whilst the V-shaped walls were opened by a series of slits to enable the constant glimpses and crashes of the waves. A rocking chair has been placed at the top of this V-point, giving a clear perspective of the panoramic coastline. A plank constructed from driftwood has been remodelled into a table top, further continuing the oceanic theme.
Whilst this property has been specifically adapted throughout in an effort to make the natural environment at one with the residential build, a morbid undercurrent runs throughout the entire project. The client's reasoning 'When I die it won't be sunset, it will be sunrise. When the final moment comes, I will face the sea and depart on a ship flashing towards death', underpins each decision made by the design team, leading them to question ‘Are we insane, or is the client mad?'