Located in central Takamatsu, Japan this residence is home to a couple with one child. The client requested that the building occupy as much of the lot as possible, ensure privacy, have a built-in garage that showcased their car, and have a reinforced concrete structure with simple finishes rather than textured interiors featuring wood and other materials. FujiwaraMuro Architects responded with a proposal that placed the living-dining-kitchen area at the center of the lot with other spaces unfolding around it onto the entire property.
The building is composed of four exterior walls that fully enclose the property with a void located inside each of the four corners as well as another in the center of the building. These five voids bring uniform light to the interior spaces, giving the living-dining-kitchen area a spacious, bright atmosphere despite its location on the first floor. The four corner voids incorporate the exterior environment into the building while maintaining privacy, creating an open-feeling space with strong connections to the outside world.
To keep the interior spaces simple, the architects used just four structural pillars. Cantilevers that extend horizontally from these columns support the first and second story floors and walls as well as the roof. Thanks to this arrangement, the exterior walls do not need to support the second floor or roof, which made possible the inclusion of long, thin slit windows that admit light from 360 degrees. This allows lines of sight to extend outside the building without compromising privacy.
The design also resulted in significant savings in the construction budget. The ground under the building is fairly soft and would have required extensive soil stabilization if an ordinary mat foundation were used. With this design, however, piles were required only under the four posts, reducing the soil stabilization budget to one quarter of what it would have been for a mat foundation.
Design and info © FujiwaraMuro Architects
Images © Katsuya Taira