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Lofty Aspirations in a Small House

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Nov 01, 2014 01:05 AM
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by Christine Chang Hanway last modified Oct 31, 2014

The Scenario: A Japanese couple buys a plot of land in the middle of a persimmon (kaki) orchard near the city of Yokkaichi, Japan, where they aspire to build a single-level family house with tall ceilings and wide-open, loft-like spaces that take advantage of the views of the surrounding orchard. The Challenge: The couple's architect, Keiichi Kiriyama of the Ogaki-based Airhouse Design , has only 1,400 square feet to work with, due to zoning requirements. This means he needs to meet the varied programmatic requirements that come from family living—three bedrooms, a guest room, a library, a den, four storage areas, a large walk-in closet, a separate shoe closet, and a cat's room (yes, you read that correctly)—without adding a second story. The Solution: In one double-height, shed-like space with a large roof set on seven thick columns, the family's loft-living aspirations are reconciled with their programmatic requirements. Kiriyama located all the private spaces in the columns, and at the same time freed up the public living spaces to circulate around the columns in their full double-height glory. The Result: Unrestricted by the height limitations that would have been imposed with the addition of a second floor, the interiors feature large areas of double-height rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer expansive views of the sky and kaki trees. At the same time, the columns hide the detritus of daily living. Happiness for all, even the cat. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? Photography by Toshiyuki Yano via ArchDaily . Above: A view from the living area up to the dining area. The public spaces circulate around the columns, which hold the private rooms and have large expanses of glass open to views of the sky and orchard. Above: A small tree grows in the middle of the indoor/outdoor terrace. Above: The second floors of the double-height columns are accessed through individual sets of lightweight metal stairs or ladders that resemble mini fire escapes. Above: A series of steps lead from the living area to either the kitchen/dining area on the right of the walk-in closet on the left. Above: The kitchen and dining areas are shaped by four of the seven columns, which are punctuated by window openings. Above: One of the many double-height, expansive views is available from the kitchen prep area. Above: A built-in bench provides efficient seating in the passage between columns. Above: A sheer curtain obscures the view of the neighboring house across the way. Above: The sheer curtain and change in floor material from concrete to wood indicate the separation between the entry terrace and the interior of the house. The cat's room is behind the small door under the metal stair. Above: A view of the open landscape from the second floor of one of the columns. Above: The interior of the column that faces the kitchen island is lined with wood and houses two small children's playrooms stacked on top of each other. Above: A view from an interior room into the kaki orchard. Above: In the bathroom, a glass partition separates the wet area from the dry area. Above: From the exterior, the house resembles a double-height shed. Above: The house is nestled into the kaki orchard. Above: The first and second floor plans of the house illustrate the division between public spaces in the open areas and private spaces enclosed in the thick columns. See houses around the world that have been inspired by Japanese design: Slow House: A Serene Cabin in the Woods in Melbourne Japanese-Inspired Living in Sydney Urban Alchemy in Toronto, Children Included In Praise of the Shadow House in London An Indoor-Outdoor House in Australia More Stories from Remodelista Before and After: A Charred Wood Cottage, on a $45K Budget Midcentury Meets Zen: A DIY Remodel in LA A Romantic Farmhouse for Two, Japan Edition






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