House in Keyaki by SNARK
and OUVI

| 5 comments
 

This house in Saitama, Japan, by architects SNARK and OUVI has bronze-coloured walls and a terrace cut out from the roof (+ slideshow).

House in Keyaki by SNARK

The three-storey residence is located on a small corner plot within the suburban town of Honjyo. The building follows the irregular outline of the site, but is set back on one side to leave enough space for a car parking area.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

The stripy metal cladding covers the entire exterior, wrapping over the roof and across the front door.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Behind the cladding, the house has a simple timber frame. Criss-crossing beams are revealed on the ceiling over the ground floor, but the structure is concealed elsewhere inside the house.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

The architects added tall narrow windows to three elevations. The first and second floors are set back from the windows, creating triangular lightwells that let daylight through the building.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

A steel staircase with timber treads extends up through the centre of the house, acting as an informal screen between rooms. On the ground floor it separates the living room from the kitchen, while on the first floor it splits the largest of two bedrooms into a sleeping area and study.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

The uppermost floor contains a second living room, which opens out to the rooftop terrace.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

This isn't the first time Japanese studios SNARK and OUVI have teamed up on a project. The pair previously collaborated on a pair of apartment blocks that look like clusters of houses.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

See more houses in Japan, including a house with two trees inside it.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Photography is by Ippei Shinzawa.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Here's a project description from SNARK:


House in Keyaki

Honjyo-shi is a small area located in Saitama Prefecture. It is an hour and a half by car from Tokyo, Japan. Almost all residents here always use their own cars when they go somewhere because there is no available public transportation like trains and buses. This means that we need to consider providing parking spaces when building new houses within this area.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

First, when we thought the outline of this house, we allotted the proper setbacks within the site. From this, we came up with a car parking space and a small garden. At the same time, we could get enough sunlight from every directions.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Second, we designed three narrow windows on the south, east and west side of the house. Then we designed triangle voids in front of these windows on the second floor.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

These voids provided visual connections to the outside and inside of the house. And people inside this house can anticipate the presence of each other within different spaces or rooms. You could feel how the sunlight changes anytime as well as the changes in season.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Finally, we set some furniture on the border of the triangle voids and each places. The inner space of this architecture is divided into smaller spaces and it can be adjusted depending on the resident's preference.

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Architects: Sunao Koase / SNARK (Sunao Koase, Yu Yamada) + Shin Yokoo / OUVI
Structural engineer: Shin Yokoo / OUVI
General constructors: Yasumatsu Takken

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Location: Honjyo city, Saitama, Japan
Site area: 132.24 sqm
Built area: 55.54 sqm
Floor area: 103.13 sqm
Number of floors: 2
Structure: wood

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Design: 2011.4-2012.3
Construction: 2012.3-2012.7

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Above: first floor plan - click for larger image

Above: second floor plan - click for larger image

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Above: cross section one - click for larger image

House in Keyaki by SNARK

Above: cross section two - click for larger image

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    It’s a tardis! Lovely and light because of the triangular voids. However, I’m not sure the fact that “people inside this house can anticipate the presence of each other within different spaces or rooms” is a good thing! A poetic way to describe a lack of privacy, if ever there was one.

  • Roger Emmerson

    Another tricksy, internalised house with a centralised stair on a truly awful site. And what about those cell-like single bedrooms, barely the width of the bed? In effect, it’s a stairwell with some accommodation pushed to the edges. Not good.

    • Nick

      Tricksy? Well, okay. Internalised: the site is rather exposed, but I think the architects did a nice job of balancing privacy with natural light while allowing the massing to read as a single, tall space by peeling back the floors and introducing large windows across levels.

      The central stair is a result of the above and detailed nicely so as to maintain a continuous open space on the first level while breaking up others. Again, it’s a tight site – large bedrooms would be pointless, a luxury that would defeat the other goals of the project. Good living spaces.

      Awful site? For whom to determine? This is Japan. Land values are generally very high as is the density due to single-family houses being the norm. Based on practical measures and a different lifestyle, I would say the site is just fine.

  • http://matt-yee.tumblr.com matt

    I think it’s a great design! It has what a lot of Japanese interior design lacks — the warmth of a home. Many designs look like they were designed ultra minimalist with the intent of a photoshoot in a design magazine/blog, but a home should have qualities that allow its owners to grow with it, and adapt the space for their own purposes without compromising the integrity of the design.

  • http://www.aurelia-m.com aurelia-m

    I totally agree with you Matt!