Satoru Hirota Architects creates a "floating" home and gallery

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Satoru Hirota Architects creates a "floating" home and gallery for an embroidery artist

A long, horizontal block is hoisted above the ground on a collection of concrete pods, providing views of paddy fields and mountains for the home, gallery and studio of an embroidery artist in Japan's Shiga Prefecture (+ slideshow).

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

The artist's residence by Tokyo studio Satoru Hirota Architects sits between a main road and rice fields on the outskirts of a city in Shiga, a region set around Lake Biwa – Japan's largest freshwater lake.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

Three separate concrete volumes containing a gallery, study and a traditional Japanese room – known as a washitsu – make up the ground floor. Paved terraces set between each provide separate entrances for the residence and the gallery.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

These concrete pods also act as podiums to support a larger block that lies horizontally across their tops.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

While the ground-floor blocks – as well as a garage with a faceted porch set at an angle to the house – are smooth and light in colour, the upper floor has a dark, textured finish.

Floating-House-by-Satoru-Hirota-Architects_dezeen_468_3

This colouring was designed to cause the ground floor to visually recede. The aim was to emphasise the upper volume, giving it the appearance of "floating in the rural landscape". This prompted the project name, Floating House.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

To protect the residence from noise pollution from the adjoining road and to create a garden to the rear, the architects erected a curving concrete wall around the base of the property.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

"In order to protect the residents from the surrounding noise, the 
house has been surrounded by a gradual circular wall," explained studio founder Satoru Hirota. "
When you enter inside of the wall, there is a serene space."

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

The wall curls around a courtyard and garage near the road, under the overhanging upper floor, and encloses a lawn at the rear of the house.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

Gravelled pathways and paved terraces provide routes through and around the base of the house, while a flight of stairs ascends between two ground-floor blocks to an elevated living area.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

The stairwell separates the artist's studio from the main living area and a bedroom at the opposite end of the block.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

A long balcony runs along the face of the glass-fronted block, providing views over the agricultural landscape and to a mountain beyond.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

"You can overlook the rural landscape and mountains from the living space, and can enjoy the feeling of floating," said the architects.

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects

Photography is by Satoru Hirota Architects.


Project credits:

Architect: Satoru Hirota Architects – Satoru Hirota, Yasuko Hirota
Structural design : Nieda + Hisaeda Architects – Taizen Nieda, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida
Contractor: Tsuda Constructions – Yusuke Kishimoto

Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects
Site plan – click for larger image
Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Floating House by Satoru Hirota Architects
Section – click for larger image