Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

This concrete house in Hiedaira, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, by Kyoto firm Thomas Daniell Studio, is located next door to the house and studio we published on Dezeen last week (see our earlier story here).

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The entire building is made of exposed reinforced concrete, including the gabled roof, which has been treated to make it waterproof.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

Built on a sloping piece of land, the house is a single storey at the front and expands into two stories at the rear.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

Large windows in the bedroom and living room provide views of the surrounding landscape, which includes a national park.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The following information is from the architects:


HOUSE IN HIEIDAIRA

This is a single-family house designed for a lush natural setting a new subdivision in the mountains above Kyoto.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The site slopes away to the north, facing onto a National Park, with a view across a forest toward Mt Hiei (the most sacred mountain in Japanese Buddhism).

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

In compliance with new building regulations that mandate orthogonal walls and gabled roofs, the house takes the form of a nagaya (traditional row house): a linear sequence of rooms contained in a long, narrow volume aligned perpendicular to the street.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The house expands in section to follow the slope: single-story at the street façade, expanding to two stories at the rear of the site.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

This allows the gabled roof shape to define the interior spaces rather than simply sit on top of them. The bedrooms are half buried, whereas the living area is oriented toward the mountains.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The historical nagaya type is a response to the narrow, deep sites in congested inner-city Kyoto, with little or no space between buildings, but in this semi-rural location the lot has been divided in half longitudinally, with building and garden set parallel and having approximately the same width and footprint.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The rooms are arranged as a band running along the western edge of the site, enabling natural light penetration into each room.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The location of the building gives maximum separation from the neighbor to the east, and hence maximum sunlight in the garden area that remains.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The overall nagaya form remains as abstract as possible, made entirely from bare concrete.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The roof has no cladding or surface membrane (an invisible waterproofing compound has been applied to the exposed slab) and there are no projecting eaves, making the house volume akin to something sliced from a block of tofu.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

There are no drains, downspouts, or gutters -- or more precisely, the entire roof plane has been subtly shaped to become an enormous rainwater channel.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

The roof perimeter slopes gently upwards, creating subtle parapets that prevent water from falling down the long walls, channeling it all to the building’s north and south ends where it may fall freely to the ground.

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

Architect: Thomas Daniell (assistants: Fumihiko Nakamura, Mike Heighway)

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Contractor: Shimizu Corporation
Location: Hieidaira, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Program: Single family house (2 adults, 2 children)
Area: 136m2 (two stories)

Hiedaira House by Thomas Daniell Studio

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Construction: September 2008-May 2009
Structure: reinforced concrete


See also:

.

House in Hieidaira by
Tato Architects
Himeji Observatory House by KINO architects A House Awaiting Death by EASTERN Design Office
  • anindividual

    I'm curious, after seeing so many unique Japanese homes such as this, does Japan's national building code not have any rules regarding minimum thermal insulation values? As a country that imports energy and has some extreme climate areas, it surprises me to see so many buildings that do not appear to be energy efficient.

    • http://www.nakamotoarchitect.com Interiorarchitect

      Japanese law does not require any minimum thermal insulation regulations however a small contribution of money is paid by the government into projects that incorporate thermal insulation details into housing designs.

      Exposed concrete houses such as the one above plus many countless others featured on the Dezeen website are considered to look so 'kakoi' (cool) that many architects choose to skip out on the insulation for both design and cost cutting reasons.

      • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632393050 Ken Foster

        Just because a house is built of concrete, why would you assume that it isn't insulated?

  • bubble

    I live in Japan now and it is cold inside any house you go to because they have no insulation whatsoever. When I look at Japanese designs now the first thing I think "it would be very cold in winter and hot in summer". Their green stance and being one of the most green nation is a mystery to me, but we do have here 4 recycle bins and dissect garbage into pieces. Oh, and for some reason it is also common to have circle windows or openings here, i guess it is some part of design ingenuity.

  • luxor

    does this fall under the brutalism category?

  • Erik

    Looks and feels like a bomb shelter.

  • shaha

    do earthquakes are no more an issue in Japan?

  • Gravy

    The Brady Bunch meets Locked Up Abroad.

  • mspaulding

    There are numerous systems now for insulating these poured concrete structures. Most of them consist of a panel of insulation sandwiched in between two layers of concrete. It is quite easy to achieve high insulation values (R25+) with these systems within the wall thickness shown.

  • http://www.brgstudio.com nulla

    I agree that insulation is quite an important aspect of the project. It does not have to drive the whole planning, as it is happening in some western countries, where being well insulated is "cool" and modern, but it has to be considered somehow. I do still prefer a good project not well insulated, rather than a bad project very well insulated… see what comes in the future.

  • Thomas Daniell

    Thank you all for your comments. This area can receive heavy snow in winter, and so long-term durability and insulation was a primary concern for the clients, as it was for me. With the exception of the storeroom (adjacent to the parking) and the sunroom (adjacent to the entry hall), all the exterior walls are insulated. They have been lined with 30mm-thick polystyrene foam spray, then finished with painted plasterboard. The roof and floor slabs have been lined with 50mm-thick expanded polystyrene sheets. All the windows are double-glazed. The sunroom has been left in exposed concrete because it is intended as a semi-outdoor space, used as a greenhouse.Oriented to the southeast, it receives a great deal of direct sunlight through the glass walls and roof, and the exposed concrete wall visible inside acts as a heat sink that helps to warm the house at night.

  • Katsudon

    Thank you for those precisions! It's an amazing project to me!
    This is so a subtle mood created by those spaces! I like your work on the light, natural and artificial very much.
    As the exterior looks sharp and rough but made of balanced geometries, the interior gives the impression of a cocoon shelter.
    Amazingly subtle work! I digg it!

  • Ken

    It's warm. The posted by the owner. We only use the wood heater in winter. The rest of the time nothing is needed as it keeps the warmth in from the day overnight.

  • Young

    Great! Inspration! Wood and concrete…..isolation, privite…
    It makes me think a lot.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632393050 Ken Foster

    The split level design of the house looks good and sound like a good idea to make use of the slope ( which isn't that much) but is fatally flawed. The original design meant that there was to be an incredible amount of unnecessary excavation and retaining walls. These were to cost a very very large sum of money and run the house well over budget. The length of the house "footprint" meant that the amount of concrete and steel used for the base of the house was much more than would regularly be used.,… again more expense. it also meant that to run power and water to those ends of the house was going to cost a lot. The split design made for much complication added incredible expense to the project as it needed special water proofing and drainage.. again more unnecessary expense. It also meant that a bathroom could not be put on the lower level as it was a long distance from the sewage lines and below the street level which meant no gravity feed and would need expensive pumps etc. The house only has one toilet and is a compromise. Overall the house ran over original budget by about 4 times, original time frame was nearly doubled and had to be redrafted due to mistakes and incompetence. it was a financial disaster for me…. the owner