Sundial House by
Hironaka Ogawa

| 6 comments
 

Japanese architect Hironaka Ogawa designed this rural house in Kagawa like a sundial, with a south-facing tower that casts shadows across a grassy courtyard (+ slideshow).

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Named Sundial House, the building is the home of a farmer, so Hironaka Ogawa wanted to create a structure that reflects the seasonal calendar: "My goal was to build a home where the client can feel the seasons change from winter, spring, summer and fall".

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

He continues: "To accomplish this, I proposed this courtyard house with a two-storey unit in the middle of the site. As a result, the shadow of the tower moves slowly throughout the day."

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

The six-metre high tower with windows on three sides contains two bedroom floors and an attic.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

The rest of the rooms are contained in a single-storey volume that outlines the perimeter of the courtyard on three sides, creating a sequence of spaces with glazed elevations. Most of the glass panels slide open, so that rooms including the living room and dining room can easily be opened out to the garden.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

A wall of timber separates the courtyard from the surrounding field. Externally, this wall is stained in dark red, while the internal surfaces are white.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Sundial House is our sixth recent story about the work of architect Hironaka Ogawa. Other residential projects include a house with indoor trees in Kagawa and a house with chunks missing from its sloping roof. See more architecture by Hironaka Ogawa.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Photography is by Daici Ano, apart from where otherwise stated.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Here's a project description from Hironaka Ogawa:


Sundial House

This house stands in the middle of the fields in the country. The client does farming on the side.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

The site draws attention from the street; however it is not a place from which one can enjoy beautiful scenery in particular. Yet the client desired to live openly in this home.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Modern housing lacks the feelings of seasonal and time changes by the artificial environment. My goal was to build a home where the client can feel the seasons change from winter, spring, summer and fall as a farmer. In order to accomplish this, I proposed this courtyard house with a two-storey unit in the middle of the site, surrounded by a one-storey unit.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

I purposefully placed the two-storey unit on the south part of the site to block the sun. As a result, the shadow of the tower moves slowly throughout the day. In addition, the shadows of objects and places to stay within the home move accordingly.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Above: photograph is by the architect

In the summer, there would be a summer shadow. In the winter, there would be a winter shadow. The house shows different appearances in each of the four seasons. There would be a rhythm in the home's atmosphere created by the shadow of the tower, intentionally constructed on the south part of the site.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Also, the client can feel the sense of privacy at the same time as the indication of the each room by placing a small courtyard in the one-storey unit to maintain the distances in the house.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

In conclusion, this house is like a sundial where one can feel the change of the seasons along with the surrounding fields.

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Function: private house
Location: Kagawa, Japan
Structure: wood frame
Site area: 727.69 sqm
Architectural area: 132.21 sqm
Total floor area: 147.51 sqm

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Above: site plan

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Above: plan - click for larger image

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Above: long section - click for larger image

Sundial House by Hironaka Ogawa

Above: short section - click for larger image

  • edward

    Someone didn’t like ‘A Pattern Language’ did they?

  • gggguipe

    A nice looking house, but the concept, or at least the explanation of it, is naff.

    Could some trees or planting in the garden not just as easily tell you what season it is rather than a banal enclosing wall?

    • Ummmm

      Yes. If the house is a sundial simply because it casts a shadow, then every building is a sundial. The distinction is meaningless unless the particular way in which shadows are cast there in Kagawa alters either the tower or the ground, requiring them to have some specificity to their forms. That does not appear to have happened in this project.

      In fact, allowing the shadow to sweep over an undifferentiated and un-subdivided patch of grass is probably one of the worst ways to tell time with a building, even if you were inclined to do so. Just imagine: I know it’s midday when the shadow hits that blade of grass… right… there… or was it that one there?

  • KJG

    This farmer/architect doesn’t like the countryside? I would love some windows to see the seasons of the surrounding landscape, not only the grass in the patio.

    • Mary anne Enriquez

      The lawn is a concept of Zen, simple and austere. This green grass goes farther then traditional “karesansui” (“dry landscape” garden – often called a zen garden) in which sand is raked and suiseki (rocks) are displayed.

      To understand Japanese Zen culture – to see the plain lawn, and the “banal wall” as you call it – is embracing simplicity and purity. Westerners would clutter up that lawn with flowers, shrubs, kids, toys, and all sorts of stuff/junk. But here, it makes its own traditional cultural statement. Japanese simply would not see it the same way as you do.

      If you were a farmer you might want a place to NOT see nature when you are not working. Thus the simple wall and grass might be enough. That would be Zen austerity.

  • Tuonra

    I’m sorry, but it looks like a prison to me.