The inexact quality

29 Mar 2011

Angular residential property by Rome-based architect Antonino Cardillo now complete

Nomura 24 House by Antonino Cardillo is a medium-sized abode split over two levels on a hill. Located on a trapezoidal plot in a suburb in the district of Hyōgo, the wooden residence overlooks Ōsaka bay and sports whitewashed walls and a sloping pitched roof. A sleeping area comprised of three bedrooms with a bathroom and entrance hall occupies the ground floor whilst the living area is located on the first floor and incorporates a WC, kitchen, patio, dining area, sitting room and Japanese room (Washitsu).

Formally, in plan, the two longer, non-parallel sides of the plot define two right-angled systems which find their formal connection on the third side, defining in elevation an incisive, faceted shape. Its diverse surfaces mutate the intensity of the light according to the incidence of the sun. Inside, on the first floor, a large polygonal living room with seven sides possesses the inexact quality of certain medieval Italian piazzas, on whose sides the openings - now windows, now doorways - describe multiple directions of aspect and travel.

The irregularity of the geometry, therefore, crystallises in the shape a willingness for dialogue among the parts which make up the whole: kitchen, Washitsu and window over the bay, foreshortened to avoid direct exposure of the interior to the road. Finally, at the rear, the narrow space created between the kitchen and the Japanese room picks out a small patio, whose windowed sides gather the afternoon diagonals of the sun on the tatami flooring of the Japanese room and reverberating blues inside the kitchen cavity.

These two rooms lead onto the living room through two low doorways cut into the white sketch of a high wall. Almost rationalised grottoes, these bedrooms made of independent light engage with the large polygonal room: dark and azure in the morning, light and warm in the afternoon.

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