Architecture

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

It is also possible to utilize a slightly cramped plot.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

IMPORTANT: You look across the first floor of this house. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

METAL LOWER: On the second floor you will find private rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

The site was basically very difficult to do anything, explains architect Yo Shimada of Tato Architects to the design website Dezeen.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

HANDLING: The plot was too narrow for large machines and vehicles, so the materials that had to be used had to be transported by hand. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

VIEW: From this plot you have a good view of the port of Kobe. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

– 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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

DAY LIST: Windows does not allow much daylight on the second floor. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

DO NOT STOP OUT: The family who were living in the house did not want their new home to run too much in the neighborhood around. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

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.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

EXCELLENT ARCHITECTURE: There are great examples throughout Japan in modern and innovative architecture. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

FULL OUTDOOR: There is no view on the first floor of the house. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

– And then we used a system where infrared rays pick up heat on the second floor in the floor upstairs.

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

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

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

MINIMALIST: In line with most of Japanese design and architecture, this house is also decorated in a minimal way. Photo: Kenichi Suzuki

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

HOW TO DO THEM: Built-in housing in the mountainside to take advantage of the views. Photo: Illustration: Tato Architects

If you put the house on a scaffold, it will be a view

UNIC RESIDENTIAL: The building block is made up of glass and steel. Photo: Illustration: Tato Architects

This house is made of an old container

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