Cartesian grid, reminiscence and/or oblivion
Cancelling the rules that guaranty a rectangular Cartesian coordinate system as it is, we made each unit space to be free and to obtain needed size in mutual push and pull. The shape of the whole is the result of cutting out by the site shape.
In the grounds of a Japanese temple where a rectangular coordinate system, if not so strong as Cartesian, dominate, I thought that something else could be accepted and wanted to see something else accepted in reality. This is because of the generosity of, and my respect for, such traditional Japanese religions.
Other than X-axis and Y-axis, some duality are in this project's concern such as parent family and son family, action space and transfer space, inside and outside (of the building and of the site) and two architects. I consider the duality not in the phase of "duel" but in the phase of "between," "fundamental sameness," "incommensurable coexistence."
I think that the project will be finally completed when you can see 2501 through the satellite view of Google map. This is because the project is of conceptual.
When you were little, you might be surprised, in a moment of drawing lines on the ground of schoolyard, the inside of the lines became your room, your castle or anything you could imagine. I did the same. This experience of "drawing lines" influenced the design of 2501.
This house consists of two phases called, “mesh” and “volume.” The mesh is a fixed width linear of void and the volume is a space for some purpose for living.
The mesh, as independent white lines, determine, divide and connect the volumes at the same time. The function, to separate rooms, is usually of "walls." In the house, however, the mesh plays the role instead. The walls of 2501 remain fragmental. The mesh allows the house to co-exist with miscellaneous functions with no clear sense of physical separation.
You may be more free by being regulated. This is not ironic. The mesh is like traffic rules for imagination. Keeping the whole with such a simple rule, 2501 has tolerance to accept various living situation.
Lowness, closeness and openness Japanese word "kuri" means "house of Buddhist monk." The project 2501 is a duplex kuri which consists of two areas for two families; the two areas are divided by an internal drive way and are connected underground.
The kuri must be lower than the main shrine because of its importance. And I hoped that the kuri should have been as low as old walls surrounding the site for residential neighborhood.
For the lowness, instead of being multistory, 2501 spread on the site to the edge. The site gradually sinks down toward south; by following the gradient, 2501 is looking like walls from outside. This is emphasized by the fact that 2501 has no openings at the outer wall. 2501 has an internal drive way and openings toward that instead.
Line: parting line and/or outline of elements
In 2501, rooms and gardens are treated in the same manner. They are called "volumes." The volumes are mutually dependent units in terms of size and shape. The relational position of each unit is decided by traditional planning thinking; and its size and shape is determined by push and pull action among units. Then the outlines of units are made bold enough to walk on as passage. Usually partitions of rooms are walls so that you feel "like walking in the wall."
The concrete wall structure is employed; the walls, however, are neither of structural expression nor shadow/darkness expression. Structural real walls remain but are always partial and fragmental.
Some notes for construction
The project 2501 was designed for two families. The client’s request was to be able to enter by cars from the south side of this site and park at the north.
To meet this request and to adapt to the family structure, I decided to build a path for cars at the center of the site. This path divides the site into two areas, one for parents and one for daughter’s family. It makes possible that two families live together, respecting the two different lifestyles by keeping some distance each other.
The east side is a living space for parents and the west is for daughter’s family. About 2m width of library connects two houses at a basement.
Because the north and south end of the site has about 1.9m difference in height. I was required to slope the path at the center in order to be accessible to outside of the site from two entrances at the north and south.
I adapted the floor levels of each room to the slope. About 0.9m width of white hallways, Mesh, connect and divide each room at different levels.
Location: Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan Use: house + Office Design team: Structural Engineering: Seiichiro Yamada (dos) Site area: 820.00m2 Building area: 479.94m2 Gross area: 559.51m2 Building coverage ratio: 58.52% Floor area ratio: 68.23% Building scale: one stories below and two above the ground Parking capacity: 2 Structure system: reinforced-concrete Period of design: 11/2007 – 11/2008 Period of construction: 11/2008 – 11/2009 Exterior finishing: concrete Interior finishing: plaster board, paint