Housing design that draws on the subtleties of human relationships
Kimizuka Architects believe that, whatever the size, budget or condition, sustainable architecture should form part of the process of creating characteristic meaning and hope for individuals and their wider communities.
Re-organising values: O House in Tokyo (2009) is a case study to create a residential environment in a crowded urban area, like a symbol of the current 'information junk' world. All the noises of the surrounding are blocked up by outer walls first, and only selected values are re-introduced through the openings, to secure privacy and quietude and to re-organise sensible relations with the outside.
Feeling the present with the past: Villa Cocoro in Shizuoka (2008), a conversion of a relocated old timber house, deals with how to coexist with old stocks that would otherwise be abolished. While the traditional frames are left as they were as much as possible, simple new elements with the deliberate texture and colour of the finishes softens the contrast between old and new. The obscuring of the borders between past, present and even future without replicating traditional styles results in a building that exists continuously in the present tense.
Re-creating a community by obscuring the definition of 'house': Azamino SoHo in Yokohama (2011), a family house and work space, aims to re-think the notion of a house as part of the community, rather than as a closed box which is separate from society. While this house has no fully equipped kids' rooms, the common areas for the family and work space are perfectly secured and connected with each other. This programme is expected to influence the relationship between parents and kids, family and society, and even individuals in the community.
Raising meaning in a shared void: Light Well House in Tokyo (2008) is designed for a family with their grandmother. The ways in which different generations living together can find a common value in their house will become one of the key issues in the imminent future, with the phenomenon of an ageing population and the long recession that Japan faces.
A small light well (void), from which the plan spirals out, is intended to be a deeply meaningful space, etched over time with the memories of the two generations.