Sasebo city in Nagasaki – Architect Show Co.,Ltd
Site Area: 327 m2 (3532 sq ft)
Building Area: 129 m2 (1,393 sq ft)
Floor Area: 243 m2 (2,624 sq ft)
Photography: Toshihisa Ishii
Japanese architect, Masahiko Sato has a philosophy of developing a deep empathy with both client and site before undertaking a project. The focus is on livability and maximising the benefits that the surrounding environment offers. Here are his notes on this house:
“The building site is a long, narrow piece of land between a coastline road and a cliff. The key design concept, besides assuring a sufficient living space, was to harmonize with the surrounding natural environment.
The land sits two meters below the roadside, and the natural slope of the land was daringly used without trying to restructure it. The building has a beautifully aesthetic form that makes it appear to be floating in the air. The north side facing the road is flat and simple. When approaching the house in a car, the white form of the west side of the building gradually gets larger, and reflects the sunlight.
There are no windows on the sides of the building. It is designed so that from every window only the sea is visible. In the Horizontal house, the blue sky and sea directly in front of it belong to the family living in it.
Turning one’s attention to the sound of the ocean waves creates a relaxing living experience. The house sits not in the middle of the city but in a unique natural environment, so the architect designed the house to bring the residents the benefits of that environment through both the choice of materials and the design overall. To not spoil the landscape required a design that would meld the building into its surroundings.
Naturally, the design had to provide the functionality of a residential home. The first floor of Horizontal house, which serves as the parking area, is built from reinforced concrete, while the second floor, part of which doubles as an office, as well as the third floor living and dining area, are a mixed structure of wood and reinforced concrete. As there is line of sight in all four directions, runoff rainwater is gathered inside the structure with a V-shaped roof slope.
The house supports living face to face with the vastness of nature, sometimes gentle and sometimes fierce. It is certain that the owner will come to love the rich variation of the Japanese climate even more after having lived in the house.”
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