Seen and seeing

08 Dec 2011

Hansha Reflection House is renewable accommodation that aims to appreciate its surroundings

Designed by Studio SKLIM, the house sits in quiet survey of the lake waters, waiting to capture through its lens the fleeting ephemerality of Sakura blooms, which flank the surroundings. Articulated into unspoken divisions – public, service and private – the house is spatially organised into three distinct zones.

Further punctuation of the structure, this time with the landscape, comes from outdoor spaces, incorporating both a courtyard and roof decking. Using glue-laminated timber from a renewable source, coupled with building technology that utilises a hybrid of traditional and modern methods (a mortise and tenon joint system with steel bracketing), this house was able to push the boundaries of what ubiquitous 'boxed' buildings could amount to.

The solution to push the 'public' programme to the upper level was selected as the most appropriate means to accommodate parking for three cars. In addition, this offered an elevated scenic view of the park by placing living, dining and kitchen areas on the second level.

The extensive 3.2 m timber cantilever was unprecedented, with standard limits capped at 1.5 m, and was inspired from bridge construction and book shelf bracketing. Further structural reinforcement was made in the courtyard wall, to reduce eccentricity of build form and help prevent lateral movement during earthquakes.

Inclined surfaces help negate the burden of falling rain and snow. The facade is formed of black Galvanium-panels, imbuing the structure with the resemble of a photographer's camera. The aesthetics, whilst striking, manage to effectively merge in with the neighbourhood's subtle greys.

To bring views of the exterior Sakura into the dining space, an asymmetrical window ledge was purposefully built, providing material continuity from exterior to interior and reflecting the picturesque view impressing inwards. The courtyard – an intimate private garden – forms part of the environmental funnel designed to dissipate hot air during summer, whilst anchoring the master bedroom, 1-tatami introspective room and double volume library.

The pinnacle of the house – the roof deck – further heighten one's sense of place with the surroundings and provides the perfect viewing platform for both Hanami (Sakura) and Hanabi (Fireworks) festivals.

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