Forest House in the City
by Studio Velocity

| 3 comments
 

This bright white house in Toyokawa, Japan, was designed by architects Studio Velocity with a squashed diamond shape to maximise space without overlooking the neighbours (+ slideshow).

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

Named Forest House in the City, the residence appears to have been stretched across its rectangular site in a way that allows space for small gardens filled with trees beside each wall.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

"The site is abutted on three sides by houses, all with windows facing the site," said Studio Velocity architect Miho Iwatsuki. "Responding to this, we created a forest-like outdoor space that radiates from the site's four corners like ripples on a pond."

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

The architect also compares the curving shape of the house to the organic growth of trees: "Plants make decisions about where to unfurl leaves and extend branches according to the presence and position of plants and other objects in their environment," he said. "We were interested in designing architecture that exhibits a similar quality."

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

A hair salon occupies the ground floor of the two-storey building. A simple spiral staircase winds up to the level above, where the rooms of an open-plan family home are arranged around the perimeter of a central bathroom.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

Two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen form the four corners of the floor and feature sharply pointing windows. There's also a circular balony that sticks out over the west-facing garden.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

Other houses completed recently in Japan include one where wooden furniture forms sections of staircases and one with a garden snaking between its wooden walls. See more houses in Japan »

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity

Photography is by Kentaro Kurihara.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity
First floor plan - click for larger image

Here's more information from Studio Velocity:


Forest House in the City

Creating architecture shaped by the environment plants

Plants make decisions about where to unfurl leaves and extend branches according to the presence and position of plants and other objects in their environment. We were interested in designing architecture that exhibits a similar quality.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity
Section one

In this project, we carefully investigated the site and its surroundings, allowing these to shape our building. The site is abutted on three sides by houses, all with windows facing the site. Responding to this, we created a forest-like outdoor space that radiates from site's four corners like ripples on a pond.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity
Section two

The diamond-shaped space remaining at the centre of the site became the house's interior. Viewed from the street and neighbouring buildings, the house and its outdoor space - both derived from relationships within the site - resemble a forest, suggesting a new architectural ideal.

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity
Section three

Location: Toyokawa-city, Aichi
Principal use: private residence, shop
Site area: 245.30 sqm
Building area: 72.00 sqm
Total floor area: 137.80 sqm
Structure: steel frame
Number of storeys: 2 storeys

Forest House in the City by Studio Velocity
Plan concept diagrams

Architect: Kentaro Kurihara+ Miho Iwatsuki/Studio Velocity
Structural engineer: Atsushi Fujio / Fujio and Associates

  • http://www.libertydisciple.com/ The Liberty Disciple

    The balcony seems to look out over the neighbours fairly well.

    The scheme is the intersection of four arbitrary circles. The attraction was either something new to constrain to plan-wise or the ship’s prow along the street.

    If you’re encouraging privacy and respect for the neighbours, why not look inward to a courtyard and play off the traditional Japanese architecture of reflection and defence? There are missed opportunities to speak to the surrounding homes.

    Renders or photos expressing trees over building would be needed to sell me on the forest ideal. I just don’t see it.

  • djnn24

    I swear every Japanese project looks the same. Nice though!

  • elsemate

    Are there no planning laws in Japan? How can you have a structure that close to the road?