It is also possible to utilize a slightly cramped plot.
It’s not all villagers who can boast a spectacular view from the windows at home. Most people, especially in big cities, may be careful to look beyond other buildings, back yards or trafficier roads.
In Japan’s big cities, they constantly try to find unique solutions to the housing crisis. The result will be innovative architecture where many will live in relatively small space.
This family in Kobe was helped by innovative architects at Tato Architects, to make the most of both the plot and the view as they were building houses.
Purchased land in mountain side
According to the design and architectural site Arch Daily, this family in southern Japan came to the architects with the following challenge: Help them draw and build a home on a plot located on the outskirts of a residential area in Kobe, halfway up the mountain side to Mount Rokko.
The site was basically very difficult to do anything, explains architect Yo Shimada of Tato Architects to the design website Dezeen.
This house is two meters wide
Not only is it halfway up the mountain side, at the very edge of what is a residential area under development, but the plot was also too steep for large machinery and vehicles to come, which certainly helped to do the job more challenging.
This meant that the plot was largely dug out and done with human resources only – something that would also prove to apply to materials that had to be transported to and from the construction site as well.
– The family wanted the frame on the house to be steel, explains Shimada.
– The materials had to be carried by hand to the construction site, so everything had to be so small and easy that this was possible. Nothing could weigh over 100 kg.
Created transparent first floor
The family had two wishes for their new home: they wanted to exploit the position of the plot high up the mountain side and the view it gave them, but at the same time they had the wish that the house should not be too much in relation to other settlements in the area.
The solution the architects came up with was to divide the house into two zones: A public area in the first floor of the house – which was to be built in a glassware, and then a more private zone, to be placed on top of the glass building, and be done in a material that made more room for privacy and tranquility.
– With the clients it was decided that the kitchen and dining room, as well as a guest toilet should be added to this open first floor, explains Shimada.
Built luxury home under the ground
– Here you should also be able to store bikes and other equipment you need to have access to daily.
The architect explains that the plot is such that the view – even in the most transparent part of the house – is not a problem to be considered.
– Now you could concentrate on getting full access to the beautiful view of the busy harbor city. And then it was nice to have the rooms where you entertain guests and where you live in that part of the house where you can enjoy the view from all sides.
Private zone wrapped in metal box
On the second floor of the building, located on the top of the glass building, you have added more private rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms and also made room for storage.
– Here the family can retreat and not be disturbed by anything, explains Shimada to the site.
– The walls here are clad with steel plates, where you have cut holes for windows that provide natural ventilation.
The material used to clothe the second floor of the house corresponds to other buildings in the area, which was important to the family, as they did not want the house to run too much in the environment around.
This can solve the housing crisis in the cities
– It was important for both the family and us as architects that this housing and architecture should not adversely affect either building or environment, explains Shimada.
– Here we think we have hit the nail in many ways, and made it possible to enjoy and use the house as we always plan to be the final result, while not creating anything that seems to dominate surrounding area.
Warms the floor with infrared rays
The architect explains the way in which he has chosen to organize heating of the house:
– We designed a thermal heating system that uses heating cables that were put into the concrete used on the floor on the ground floor, explains the designer.
– And then we used a system where infrared rays pick up heat on the second floor in the floor upstairs.
The rooftop floor became a dream apartment
Shimada explains that in the summer, the idea was that the balcony – which stretches all over the second floor – will help shade the glass building so that you can maintain evenly cool temperatures, even though it’s quite hot on the outside.
Similarly, the balcony will protect the dwelling to a certain extent from winners coming down from Mount Rokko.
This extension hides a surprise
Should you have slimmer houses, you must sleep upright
This house is made of an old container