House with a large hipped roof

House with a large hipped roof

1. September 2014

House with a large hipped roof
2013
Ibaraki

Architects
Naoi Architecture & Design Office

Design Principal
Katsutoshi and Noriko Naoi

Project Team
Naoyoshi Oikawa

Structural Engineer
Masaki Structural Laboratory

MEP/FP Engineer
Kenta Masaki

Contractor
Gunji Construction Co.

Constr. Manager
Nemoto Masanobu

Kitchen
TACTI

Bath
T-form

Toilet appliance
LIXIL

Hardware
GROHE、CERA、UNION、BEST

Lighting Fixture
Louis Poulsen, Endo Lighting, Panasonic

Site Area
617.03㎡

Building Area
229.59㎡

Total Floor Area
231.56㎡

Photo
Hiroshi Ueda

This home for a family of four designed by Naoi Architecture & Design Office sits in a farming-district-turned-suburban-subdivision in Shiga Prefecture. In order to enable a lifestyle in harmony with nature for the outdoors-loving residents, the architects kept the surrounding landscape in mind while designing the ranch-style home. By slicing away one plane of the large hip roof and replacing it with a wall of glazing, they forged a connection with the outside world without sacrificing privacy. “We want to create simple, universal architecture that allows residents to sense the natural world no matter what their surroundings,” say Katsutoshi and Noriko Naoi, the husband-wife team who head the firm, of their approach to design. We asked them about the project. 

Exterior

Please give us an overview of the project.

This design explores the possibilities of suburban architecture. The double-sized lot is part of a subdivision in a formerly rural district, with plenty of room for the home and separate two-car garage. We proposed a theme of “connections between the built space and the natural world” to the client, who is a gardener with a deep love of nature. The plan combines an outdoor space with a relaxed, open ranch-style building. 

Living room viewed from bedroom
Living room viewed from kitchen

What was most important for you during the design process?

We felt that in the context of the new housing development, an open facade that communicates the presence of the residents would contribute a sense of security to the streetscape, while the garden would help recreate the  nature that had been lost with development. The large hip roof is our homage to the traditional rural landscape that was also lost with development. The time the family spends with nature in the shade of this roof is the symbol of the house, which we hope will contribute to a positive living environment in the broader neighborhood. 

Living room and upstairs corridor
Looking down on the living room from the corridor

What challenges did you face in the project? How did you respond to them?

In past projects we’ve been able to develop universal designs out of particular contexts, but this site lacked an anchor for that process. Because the situation lacked any order,  we used the question of the structure’s potential impact on the surrounding environment and streetscape as the centerpoint for our design work.  

Children’s room
Approach

What did you learn from this project? What will you take from it to future projects?

Since before we began this project, we'd felt that instead of particularized solutions to design problems, architects need to propose generalized solutions that bring new awareness to society. This project served to reinforce that conviction. 

Space beneath stairs

How does this project fit into current architectural trends such as sustainability, social function, or technology? 

Looking at current architectural trends, it feels like most buildings are designed only to meet immediate or very particular desires. Shouldn’t we be thinking about timeless architecture that exists for the future, for the earth, for society? We believe that in order to do that, architects need to design not just for a special sub-set of clients, but rather to create buildings will be well loved by many people. 

Looking down on living room from corridor
Night view

What is the societal role of the architect?

To draw out and put into order people’s subconscious desires. 

Layout 
1F and 2F floor plan 
Section 


E-mail interview by Yuna Yagi (translated from Japanese)  

House with a large hipped roof
2013
Ibaraki

Architects
Naoi Architecture & Design Office

Design Principal
Katsutoshi and Noriko Naoi

Project Team
Naoyoshi Oikawa

Structural Engineer
Masaki Structural Laboratory

MEP/FP Engineer
Kenta Masaki

Contractor
Gunji Construction Co.

Constr. Manager
Nemoto Masanobu

Kitchen
TACTI

Bath
T-form

Toilet appliance
LIXIL

Hardware
GROHE、CERA、UNION、BEST

Lighting Fixture
Louis Poulsen, Endo Lighting, Panasonic

Site Area
617.03㎡

Building Area
229.59㎡

Total Floor Area
231.56㎡

Photo
Hiroshi Ueda

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