House in Wakabadai
House in Wakabadai was built in Kawasaki City, in the west periphery of Tokyo, one of the last development areas in Tama New Town project for making bedroom-towns since 1970s. The site is located at the end of a blind alley connected to the main street through a narrow dogleg private pass. It is bordered by a small river on the south, offering a pleasant view of orchard hills beyond. Adjacent on the west is a two-story house in which an old couple lives; on the north a two-story apartment building of eight households; and on the east a tiny crop field. The project started with the analyses on the movements of automobiles within the site. Two cars had to be parked under the building by tucking the car from the font and switching back, which was an absolute requirement from the client. Most of the site - 116 square meters - was occupied by the car issue. The small remaining area became a core for containing entrance and staircase. Because even a jumbo jet could stand with three legs, I believed it was possible to realize the house with two more legs. This is how such a large piloti in the tiny house came about. When I design the shape, I tilted walls and trimmed the building volume with careful examinations to the surroundings as well as to setback regulations. Here, for example, I was conscious of a living room window in the west side neighbor house from which the inhabitants could appreciate the beautiful view of nature. In order to secure their pleasure, I made the large triangular wall at the south-west corner tilted inward down to the ground. For the apartment building on the north, both the piloti and the folded wall above were effective for easing oppressive feeling and bringing ventilation. Interior space is surrounded by a shell structure wall, 60 cm deep, in which storages, closets, and even kitchen equipments are installed. The first floor contains bedroom, storage, and bathroom, connected to a privatized terrace. Dining, kitchen, and living with a roof terrace are on the second floor from which one can enjoy the splendid view of orchard hills. The structure is one of inventive timber constructions which I have researched in academia with the structural designer Hirokazu Toki. It is named "Log-Hinge Joint," by which panels are connected among others by log-hinges based upon an integrated theory of Container Structure System, which I invented as a brand-new method for wooden structure buildings when I realized Gallery in Kiyosato in 2005. The polyhedron is composed of prefabricated panels made by 2''x 4'' timbers and 9 mm thick laminated panels. Long piles are required because of a soft ground on the river; however, the light timber construction and the plioti itself were favorable in decreasing piles to economical construction. Fireproof materials were used for interior and exterior finishing in compliance to prevention codes. The exterior wall, in particular, was covered by 1 mm thick rustproof steel sheet, placed at a distance of 50mm from the base steel plates to create heat-insulating air space in between for providing comfortable interior environment in summer.


14 photos and 6 drawings

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