White Cave House by Takuro Yamamoto Architects situated in Kanazawa City, Japan | The Hardt
White Cave House by Takuro Yamamoto Architects situated in Kanazawa City, Japan, an area known for heavy snowfall. The white minimal house still features many external spaces, despite the weather. The house’s exterior appears as a plain white volume, with one surface interrupted by an aperture that creates the parking space and a covered entrance passage to protect the owners from the winter snowfall. This void continues around a corner, where it becomes a secluded courtyard visible from the open plan kitchen and living space through full-height windows.
White Cave House is a massive lump engraved by a series of voids interconnected in the shape of a kinked tube. The connection of voids – we call it Cave – is the theme of this house. Internal rooms are designed to enjoy the minimum views of Cave characterized by its whiteness. At the same time, this concept is also the practical solution to realize a courtyard house in Kanazawa city known for heavy snow in Japan. The client’s original request was a white minimally-designed house with many external spaces, such as a large snow-proof approach to the entrance, a roofed garage for multiple cars, a terrace facing to the sky, and a courtyard. Though a roofed entrance and a garage are desirable for a snowy place, it takes so many floor areas away from the internal rooms for the family, while space and the budget is limited. In addition, the courtyard style itself is not suitable to the snowy country because courtyards would be easily buried under snow.
To solve the problems, we proposed to connect these external spaces one another into a large single tube, or Cave, and have each part serve multiple purposes in order to make up for the space limitations. We designed Cave unstraight because it prevents passengers outside from seeing through, though it is not closed. By this arrangement, Cave takes a new turn for each part letting in the sunshine while protecting the privacy of the courtyard, the terrace, and the internal rooms. The family inside can enjoy the view of Cave changing its contrast throughout a day under the sunshine. Cave also serves as a route to remove snow from the external spaces in winter, otherwise, you would be at a loss with a lot of snow in the enclosed courtyard. In order to make Cave deserve its name more, we wondered if we could add the reflection of water to the house because we thought water is inseparable from white caves. We eventually figured out that the terrace was an appropriate site to place it. The terrace covered by white waterproof FRP holds a thin layer of water like a white basin. On the terrace reflecting the sky view without obstacles, you may feel that Cave has brought you to another world far from the daily life.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan | The Hardt
For Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan. Kapoor created a space within the space of the Grand Palais. “Visitors will be invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in color, and it will, I hope, be a contemplative and poetic experience” (Anish Kapoor). Video by Christophe Ecoffet.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Situated in Vistahermosa Residential Area in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Spain Star 18 BE by Adolfo Perez | The Hardt
Situated in Vistahermosa Residential Area in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Star 18 BE by Adolfo Perez. Completed in 2014, the modern 3,315 ft² (308 m²) home is on a plot which has been divided into two parts to building two semi-detached houses in the Vistahermosa Residential Area in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz. The owner ordered us the realization of one of the houses which had some determinants because of the shape of the plot and the property’s orders. This plot is long and narrow with two sides that look out over the street. The municipal regulation forced us to set back the facade with respect to the street and, also, the properties of the plot imposed us some limitations.
It was decided to set up a house along the plot because of the municipal regulations and the owner’s insistence to be a house as private and independent as possible as much in use as in views. The construction is suggested as “IL PECILE” in Hadrian’s Villa, that is to say, a big white wall that goes over the plot and distributes the different uses of the building. It is a long wall with a narrow bay. This wall divides the area into two parts. One of them is the area with the garden and the other one is the building. The “Pecile” is a big white blank wall with a hole which connects with the living room and the “public” rooms of the building. There are three elements along the wall formed by three crystal boxes: the first one connects with the living room, the second one with the corridor of the first floor and the last one is a big lamp that light up the garden and the swimming pool
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
House N18 by DRTAN LM Architect located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia | The Hardt
House N18 by DRTAN LM Architect located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. No. 18 is a three-story green residence located in the suburb of Sunway Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The site slopes up gradually from the street towards the rear, meeting the foot of an abrupt reinforced incline that marks the start of the nature reserve behind. The brief called for a sustainable green home for a large family with generous open living spaces to entertain guests and private rooms customized to each family member’s requirements. The house plan was conceived as a series of large halls based on 6m X 6m modules that are linked together both horizontally and vertically to create interlocking spaces. These are bound together by the raw off-form concrete structure and earthy clay brick screen walls. The resulting three-story box has spaces cut-into and cut-out of it to create high volume spaces, courtyards, nooks and hanging gardens.
The front arrival portico is supported on a formal series of large diameter sienna red steel columns. Beams that bear the roof garden above run across the slab in their exposed concrete form creating a visual landing strip upon arrival as the row of lights hidden behind each beam is unveiled file by file. A collage of concrete, brickwork, and timber becomes an intentional feature wall by the main entrance. A solitary concrete wall with a rectangular cut-out, flanks the right side of the driveway forming a private lawn that fronts the open living area beyond. The entry foyer and formal living space is a tall voluminous space with a large dragon ball light hanging in mid-air. This is an open space designed to promote natural ventilation and lighting and opens out unto the private front lawn. Even the bamboo garden beyond the kitchen is visible from the living hall – an openness that is visually and spatially liberating. The adjacent hall is the dining room that has sliding glass doors on both ends. One end opens into the poetic garden with a sculptural frangipani tree as a backdrop and a koi pond with a fountain in the forefront, and the other end opens to a forest of saplings in a bed of pebble stones. The kitchen and service yard is located to the rear of the house.
The sculptural stair wraps around an off-form structural wall that takes one through to all the upper levels. The stairwell acts as a lantern contained by a double glazed enclosure and illuminated by the moon-like wall lights. The double volume informal family hall is located on the first floor overlooking the fountain courtyard. A hanging roof garden with giant yucca trees sits on the roof of the front concrete portico. Hallways lead to the various bedrooms. The master bedroom sits on the second floor with a zen exercise and tea room. Shoji screens replace window blinds and tatami mats line the floor in the room that is connected to a Japanese garden terrace.
The western façade is protected by a wraparound metal box louver sunscreen. The house is totally cross ventilated with minimal mechanical air conditioning. The large roof has 200mm thick 50kg/m3 rockwool and two layers of heat reflective foil in addition to a fully ventilated roof space that houses the rainwater harvesting tanks. The roof also houses an array of photovoltaic panels that generate up to 5 kW peak of electricity, solar hot water panels and wind turbines to ventilate the house interiors. Other green features are the use of low VOC paints, raw material finishes, water saving taps and sanitary wares, low energy light fittings and local native landscaping. The overall aesthetic is one that is clean and minimally raw and natural.
Pavilion Siegen by Ian Shaw Architekten located in Siegen, Germany | The Hardt
Pavilion Siegen by Ian Shaw Architekten located in Siegen, Germany. The pavilion’s dramatic, planar form articulates an assured, yet subtle compression of space, framing views of the lake and the local topography. The building’s tectonic rigor is palpable, its seemingly gravity-defying configuration enabling the floor plate and ceiling to cantilever some 6m beyond the lakeshore. The scheme is both a weekend fishing retreat and a garage for three classic cars. A toilet and washroom facility is also included, as is a storage area for the client’s angling equipment. Detailing is measured throughout – from the integrated lighting to the fully glazed internal area.
The 12 x 12 m structure conforms to a strict proportional grid that determines both the position and heights of the walls, as well as the shuttering joints and fenestration divisions. The 3 x 3m door panels – built by the client’s engineering company, and weighing 340 kilos per door – pivot on bespoke spindles, allowing each to be opened with the push of a single finger. The 12 x 12 m structure conforms to a strict proportional grid that determines both the position and heights of the walls, as well as the shuttering joints and fenestration divisions. The 3 x 3m door panels – built by the client’s engineering company, and weighing 340 kilos per door – pivot on bespoke spindles, allowing each to be opened with the push of a single finger. Throughout the building process, the concrete mix was carefully monitored in order to achieve an off-white finish, this tone refining the pavilion’s dialogue with the surrounding terrain. Special, non-oiled shuttering ensured that no harm came to the lake’s fish population during construction.
House 24 (2016) by Park + Associates located in Singapore | The Hardt
House 24 (2016) by Park + Associates located in Singapore. In a usual circumstance, the front of the house is the most important – not in our case. House 24 is sited on a triangular plot, a constraint that we took on as an opportunity to really engage with the siting and planning of the house – to achieve a meaningful footprint that actualized the client’s spatial, functional, and privacy requirement. Moreover, the site adjoins a lushly landscaped state land that we endeavored to take advantage of at every available opportunity and every habitable space. As such, we turned the house away from the main road and neighboring houses, and instead, have the living spaces open out to the mature greenery beyond. The result is amassing comprising of two blocks which, when combined, define a V-shaped patio on the first floor that becomes the focal point of common activities and entertainment, borrowing views from the surrounding greenery.
The courtyard screen fronting the street is an exercise in rethinking the conventional entry sequence of residential dwellings, and an exploration in creating a more layered and sequential experience. It is experienced almost as a ritual space – serene and tranquil – marking the transition between the public and private. It was also an opportunity to explore what timber craftsmanship might mean in contemporary architecture, and we envisioned the screen to be a well-crafted element with a modern aesthetic and detailing. It eventually manifested itself as a refined and rhythmic facade, drawing attention to its delicate scale even as a structure that is over 8m high. A delightful pattern of light and shadow play out over the course of each day whilst allowing sunlight to filter in and natural air to stream in, creating a relaxing ambiance that reinforces the client’s desire to live in a home that reflected its tropical locality.
Fleuve (2013) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan | The Hardt
Fleuve (2013) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The client, who is a hair stylist/a salon owner, requested us to design a house with a hair salon. It is an exclusive and luxurious hair salon where the salon owner himself provides all services, and the number of clients is limited to only two at the same time. Our design strategy is to minimize the size of the salon, to create a compact and intimate space where the hair stylist gives utmost attention and professional service to the customer. On the contrary, we provide the maximum floor area of the house. The glass-clad salon has a stylish and sharp atmosphere, but the sharpness is softened by greenery in the front yard and low and deep eaves above it. Lounge for resting is provided as a buffer zone between the hair salon and the house. And entrance court with a family symbol tree is specially designed as a transitional zone where the client is able to switch his mood from business to private.
The client’s wife practices tea ceremony, so we design a Japanese room to welcome tea guests, with a compact courtyard (called “Tsubo-Niwa” in Japanese) attached. Our intention is to fill the space with an atmosphere of a warm welcome from the hair salon to the tearoom, and in and out of the house. On the second floor, family room and child’s room are divided by the stairs in between. Study room in the middle acts as an intermediate space in between. The roof of the hair salon becomes a wide roof balcony adjacent to the family room. It can be used as an extended family room on occasions such as big parties with many guests. From the windows, one can enjoy the view of the family symbol tree, along with the beautiful background of the adjacent park and trees along the street.
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