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SMALL HOUSE IN KAWAGUCHI

川口の小規模住宅

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凛々しい骨格と尊厳のある外皮

狭小地に建つ開口部が大きく、周囲と透明なガラスの外皮でつながり、地域に開けた建築…言葉はやさしく、現実は厳しい。こういったコンセプトは本当の意味で計画のコンテキストによる。住まい手と生活像はもちろん周囲の理解、土地の歴史や文脈によりはじめて成立する。計画者も何度もその可能性を考えた。考えたからこそ、逆行した考えが最終的に導かれた。ここに住む人達は自らの交流と生活をさらけ出したいのか。おそらくそうではないだろう。幾度も現地へ足を運んだ。この場所の住民は限られたプライバシーをこれまでも切磋琢磨しながら城壁のように築き上げてきたと感じた。この場所に「物理的に開く」ということは暴力的だと感じた。この場所には「軒下のコミュニティ」や「住民と交流する土間」のようなものは優先されるものではない。まずは凛々しい骨格と生活を守護する外皮が必要だ。窓からは光こそ取り入れ、風景を取り込む必要はない。この場所にはまだ風景がない。風景は地域で作られるものだ。この計画は始まりのきっかけにすぎない。

将来この周辺住居の更新の際、限られたセットバック空間にこのプロジェクトをきっかけにデザインコードが生まれ風景が作られることを期待したい。その先にこそ、この地域が本当の意味で「都市の更新」に成功した将来が待っているだろう。この先の建物更新に携われることを切に願う。

DRONE : FOWARD STROKE

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PRINCIPAL USE

PRIVATE RESIDENCE

YEAR

2022.1

LOCATION

KAWAGUCHI-CITY, JAPAN

GFA

33sqm

主用途

専用住宅

完成

2022.1

所在地

​埼玉県川口市

床面積

32.94㎡(9.98坪)

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Updating the niche in a city by a façade with DIGNITY

Dignity in daily life

The site is small. Approx. 29sqm, small as 2 car park plots. Neighborhood is closer than any land else. Designs and concepts such as “large open window”, “open to the city”, “community inspired house” ... sounds innovative and great. But they force tough privacy condition to live in when project is super small. We designed this project by the opposite perspective. Visiting the site many times, we understood the daily life in the area has bricked strong wall of privacy to deny the violence of chained neighborhood community. Windows are closed, curtains and blinds are down. The neighbor houses showed how the life in the area as dark and close.

First things to be designed is "dignity of life".  The main purpose of the design is to control the privacy and make interior environment comfortable. The doors and windows should be facing to the light but not to the neighbor. House with natural light and gentle winds with a decent distance from the neighborhood will create a home with dignity.

Challenging solo urban regeneration

Most small site lots in Japan consolidate for large-scale projects. But this project intended to update city by itself. In the beginning, this project site did not face to a road but only a path. Local regulation requires the new construction site to face at least 4m wide road. So, the part of the site must be transferred as a public road for construction permit. And approval from surrounding landowners was necessary, so the transferred road will eventually become 4m width and connected to an existing road.

This project has transferred 11sqpm to gain a connection to “a road”. It ended up with 29sqm construction site. Construction area percentage of 60 from the urban control let only 17.4sqm footprint building in the site.  This project is the challenge to design super small house with strict limitation from the site condition.

Maximum height, floor, natural light, natural ventilation as a greatest common divisor design.

This site has height restriction from front road width. The building setback allow extra height but lose the capacity of building footprint. We designed the project with 1m building setback to gain extra height control, and skip-floor let maximum floor area. Skip-floor design provides privacy due to the height difference between surrounding houses. The window is designed at a higher position than general house design in Japan for efficient natural lighting and to avoid peep from the front door passengers. The skylight can open as a maintenance hatch for roof and provide natural ventilation with chimney effects by connected space from ground floor to the top floor.

A project as a milestone for super small project construction

We hope this project to become a milestone for surrounding house renewal. Even the financial value of super small land cannot be easily raised, the space with comfort and richness can be designed. This project is the wish for the district to become more vital and popular as a new model of new urban regeneration in future.

PHOTOGRAPHY

FORWARD STROKE

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