- Akio Nakasa / Naf Architect & Design
- Niigata, Japan
- 1-5 Piani
A house was built with a big roof and a wide opening to a private road branched from the frontal road.
The private road is paved with asphalt as if it is continuation of a public road although being actually a front yard of the house. This private road would be a place exclusive for the owner to stand chatting with neighbors and for children to draw with chalks without minding traffic, or parking for guests.
The premises is located in an old district of Niigata city, which is famous for its traditional fighting lantern festival. The festival takes place on the streets which will be closed during the festival. When the date of festival comes near, neighbors get together on the street to discuss repair of lanterns and other matters, sometimes ending up on drinking party. Habitants of this district have been using streets as part of living space, and the idea of “private road” take on this tradition.
On the first floor, garage, dining/ kitchen, living room, and earthen floor are located, all of which are accessible from the private road through wide opening. When a neighbor visits the house to share dishes with the owner of the house, he/ she does not have to go through the entrance but simply go through the opening of the dining or kitchen. When a car enthusiast friend visits by car, the owner can go out from garage, usher the car inside and start car talks. The entrance which is at the back of the private road is spacious earthen floor which can be used for preparation of festivals and party after the festival.
On the second floor, distanced from the private road, sunroom, bathroom, bedroom, and guest room are located for more private function. In Niigata, a region of much rain and less sunshine, people tend to spend time indoor, and the sunroom serves as open quasi-outdoor space under high, big roof. It is a sunny space where laundry is hung to dry, children play or it serves for other purposes. Abundant sunshine in sunroom is sent to bathroom through fanlight. The bedroom and guest room are placed near eaves where the ceilings are lower and more cozy.
The frontal road of the house is legally on the west side, but using the private road in the premises as frontal road, the house has quasi-southern exposure and abundant sunlight. The house which is long on east-west axis and short on north-south axis has reduced solar radiation load and good ventilation.
– Akio Nakasa –