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A House Awaiting Death, Mie Prefecture, Japan 
Thursday 13 Jan 2011
 
Waiting for God... 
 
images © Koichi Torimura 
 
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Award Entry

EASTERN Design Office completes new home with an unusual brief 

This is a rather unusual residential project on a coastal plot. The client said "I will die in 15 years. It will be a house awaiting that death."

The nearby sea was to play an integral part in this project, with the ocean only 150 m 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 the architects 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 a ‘reclining, wave-viewing wooden lounge' was installed, 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 blue butterfly is symbolic of the blue ocean, so the wings of a butterfly were designed into the windows.

The client's reasoning was as follows: "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". This underpins each decision made by the design team, leading them to question; "Are we insane, or is the client mad?"

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
EASTERN Design Office
www.eastern.e-arc.jp

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