Biotope along the By-pass

Biotope along the By-pass

Nisshin, Aichi, Japan | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses

Biotope along the By-pass

ihrmk as Architects


The house sits on a subdivided plot in the new residential area of the newly finished land rezoning project in front of the Komenoki station in Nisshin City, facing the busy by-pass which was widened to 30m as part of the rezoning project.

The challenge was how to establish the building façade against an open environment of newly developed land.

Similar to a river biotope that is both a secure home and a place of activity for aquatic life, we did not fully open the house towards the front road, nor totally closed it. By manipulating the boundaries, we hoped to create a three-dimensional space that connects to the planar surrounding and a humanly distance that comes inro contact with the oversized, artificial place.

1.5 stories of RC and Wooden frame

The site is on a stepped ground, elevated approximately 1m from the boundary of the front road. We decided to insert an RC building mass into the stepped ground like an animal burrow. The ground floor beam establishes a waist-high wall that extends out to the terrace of the 1st floor and surrounds this entire RC mass. On top, we assembled 1.5 stories of wooden frame, giving a soft rhythm in contrast to the hardness of RC structure.

The basement of the house is a café, and above the basement on the 1st and 2nd floors are the residential area. While the entrance and floor level between the café and living space are clearly divided, through the central atrium and the building’s stacked 1.5 stories of RC and wooden frame structure, the sense of presence between different levels could be felt.

A Series of Small Spaces

In the café on the basement, we arranged an entrance and atrium like those seen in an urban hideaway at the end of a narrow alleyway, a terrace seating in the back of the atrium where comfortable wind flows through, and floor seating embedded in the ground. On the 1st floor, entrance, decking passage, study space, dining to living space and south terrace are arranged around the central atrium, respectively. On the 2nd floor, private rooms (master bedroom and two children’s rooms) are arranged around the void above the dining space and the atrium, maintaining a moderate distance between each room. By three-dimensionally arranging small spaces around the central atrium, we challenged to create an ecosystem reminiscent to that of a river biotope.


Material Used:
[Facade cladding]  
Basement floor - Fair-faced concrete
1st - 2nd floor - Urethane resin paint on mortar with trowel finish

Galvanized Metal Roof

[Inner floor]
Basement floor - Fair-faced concreter with trowel finish
1st - 2nd floor
General Area: Wood Flooring(Doussie flooring/IOC Japan)
Kitchen Area: Porcelain tiles 600x600x8mm(Urban Ivory/Porcelaingres)
Washroom: vinyl textile floor sheet 500x500x4.9mm (BKB Plain Berge/Bolon)

Basement floor - Fair-faced concrete
1st floor - EP coating over plasterboard
2nd floor - 24mm structural plywood over SPF38x184mm@303

1st floor - Fair-faced concrete
1s floor
Podium: Concrete with 4mm resin mortar
1st - 2nd floor EP coating over plasterboard

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Product Spec Sheet
Kitchen Area
by Bolon
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