- Takeru Shoji Architects
- Niigata, Japan
The site is located in Shimotakada, Tainai City, Niigata Prefecture. The site is a 100 tsubo (330 m2) plot of land that was converted from part of a field to farmland in a rural community located a short distance away from the city center and close to the coastline. On this land, we planned a house for a couple and their three children.
What was required
The development of an environment that could accommodate many visitors and allow everyone to play together. A sports field where children can enjoy playing soccer, tennis, and other sports to their heart's content. And a variety of places for each family member to spend their time as they please.
In this vague site surrounded by fields with no clear boundaries, exposed to the elements and to the eye, we wanted to create an openness suitable for welcoming many friends, while at the same time providing a protected environment for a small group of people called a family. The challenge was to create an openness suitable for welcoming many friends, while at the same time providing a protected habitat for a small group of family members.
Therefore, two buildings, an entrance building and a residential building, were placed at both ends of this large, seemingly endless site, thus cutting off and softly enclosing the site. The "aida-noma" between the two buildings is a large playground and garden that can accommodate a variety of activities. The "aida no ma" complements the coziness of the residential wing and at the same time serves as a high threshold to the outside world (the non-friends).
The entrance building is also used as a tennis wall, a soccer goal, and under a large eave as a storage area for the equipment used in the activities here. The view of the entrance building from the residential building makes the small residential building seem larger. The other building, which is always visible during daily life, creates a sense of security in this sprawling site, as if it were a small village or a neighborhood.
The residential building is a two-story wooden structure, and the first floor is 4.0 m high. The upper space above the middle beam is planned as a "ma-no-sei" (intermediate floor), which includes a loft, within the large floor space created by this height. On the second floor, a large one-room children's room, a master bedroom, and a bathroom are simply arranged. The "in-between floor" is used for various interior decorations, hanging hammocks, and the loft as a place for the children to hide, supporting the activities and objects that emanate from the first and second floors.
The boundary between the residential building and the outdoors is made possible by the use of a characteristic diagonal brace, creating a fully open and floating porch space. This space also serves as an "aida-noma" between the outdoors and indoors, gently connecting outdoor and indoor activities.
In this vast site, the "aida-noma" and "ma-no-story," which are planned to be thicker than usual, maintain a moderate degree of privacy and seem to bring about a connection, rather than a separation.