The site is actually surrounded by quite traditional neighboring houses near an intersection for some major roads. On one side, however, is an expansive view of a peaceful plain dotted with agricultural fields. In the far distance the peaks of Nasu, the beautiful national park, are framed against a broad expanse of sky.
This house was designed for a married couple. There were three requirements from the client; 1) a terrace with a maple tree; 2) a spacious living room with a high ceiling; and 3) an atelier separated from the everyday living space.
A 7.2m x 7.2m terrace along the north side of the street and a concave roof surrounding were proposed. The shape of the roof is concave in plan as well as in section because the pitched roof is inclined towards the terrace. A wood gable frame was put on top of reinforced concrete columns that were placed on a 3.6m x 3.6m grid; they enhance the flexibility of horizontal movement for both inside and outside space. At the same time this design allows for a very free interior space without beams thanks to the cantilever of the columns from the foundation.
The concave shaped roof was key in meeting one of the requirements of the clients in that it allowed the maple tree to receive sufficient sunlight. The maple tree can also be seen from the front street. The living room is filled with high side light passing through vertical wood frames of the roof. The atelier is placed in the roof space at the tail end of the concave shaped plan. Though it is separate from the everyday living area, glimpses can be seen through the terrace.
The concave roof is a powerful symmetrical format, symmetry on its site surrounded by go-nowhere close view. At the same time, it creates a discrete yet continuous place revolving over a huge variety of daily experiences happening under the roof.