House in Utsunomiya (2010) by Soeda and Architects located in Tochigi, Japan | The Hardt
House in Utsunomiya (2010) by Soeda and Architects located in Tochigi, Japan. The home is for parents and their son. They desired a commodious “doma” (dirt floor) and a flow line to their parents’ house neighbored on the south. the doma is situated in the center of the site and made it pass through the house. The three-storied doma with three large windows brings in natural light into the next four rooms, living room, dining room, master bedroom and guest room. I believe that an ideal house has space which generates a various behavior and good affection for itself. It would be better if the place is spacious enough to be served as multipurpose while avoiding being vacuous. House in Utsunomiya is for parents and their son. They desired a commodious “doma” (dirt floor) and a flow line to their parents’ house neighbored on the south.
The site faces the street northerly and is surrounded by four houses on other sides. The light was able to come through from the south side through the small void between the other homes. We arranged the doma at the center of the site and made it pass through the house. The three-storied doma with three large windows brings in natural light into the next four rooms; living room; dining room; master bedroom; and guest room. On the other hand, the doom is the penetrating void connected to the void of the south outside. So the floor of the doma is troweled with the charcoal mixed concrete as well as of outside, and the wall lightness level is brought closer to the external wall. Some rooms are connected with the doma, and once the Japanese shoji(sliding paper screens) is opened, all rooms become one. The two stairs in the doma are made of light steel rods and laminated timbers, which prevent the relations between some rooms from disconnected.
Located in Alcacer do Sal, Portugal, House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus | The Hardt
Located in Alcacer do Sal, Portugal, House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus. The project is based on an attentive reading of the life of a very specific kind of community, a sort of a micro-society with its own rules. It is a program, somewhere in between a hotel and a hospital, that seeks to comprehend and reinterpret the combination social/private, answering to the needs of a social life, and at the same time of solitude. Independents unities aggregate into a unique body, whose design is expressive and clear.
The reduced mobility of those who will live in the building suggests that any displacement should be an emotive and variable experience. The distance between the independent units is measured and drawn to turn the idea of the path into life, and its time into form. The building, designed path, is a wall that naturally rises from the topography: it limits and defines the open space, organizing the entire plot.
House on the Lake (2012) by AUM architecture, located in Thonon-les-Bains, France | The Hardt
House on the Lake (2012) by AUM architecture, located in Thonon-les-Bains, France. Images by Erick Saillet. The project designed for a couple with two children in 2012. The house is entirely made of raw concrete and its structure is exceptional because of its apparent simplicity and its truthful sophistication. The volume of the house results from the assembly of two boxes with pure lines. The first box forms the ground floor, wide open. The second, like a beam of incredible weightlessness, comes to bear itself on the low volume and creates the floor stretching in cantilever towards the lake. The whole of the volume rests only on a single column of great finesse which illustrates all the duality of this construction.
At the intersection of the two volumes is a double height which allows the living room to have all the necessary volume for a reception room. Only a narrow bridge stretching in the middle of this space creates the link between the parental suite overlooking the lake and the children’s rooms overlooking the garden. The house on the lake rhymes with transparency. Upstairs in the West facade, we have developed a contemporary mashrabiya made of Corian® resin thermoformed shapes. This sunscreen comes to control the energy and heat input of the house at the same time giving a special vibration to the facade. This latticework is fully assembled on site by our architecture studio. Environment: This house is extremely efficient from an energetic and environmental point of view and meets the requirements of the BBC label. Thus a multitude of technical solutions has been developed to conserve the raw concrete apparent outside and sometimes inside. In order to keep apparent the maximum of the raw concrete structure, the roof is insulated from the outside with a system of extremely efficient thin insulating panels. The reinforced concrete walls are divided with thermal breakers and thermal insulation.
Photos by Erick Saillet
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Located in Niigata, Japan, M House by Facet Studio | The Hardt
Located in Niigata, Japan, M House by Facet Studio. The timber rafters supporting this majestic roof are exposed, and by having no supporting columns they are homogeneously “repeated” at 18 inches (455mm) spacing through the entire 70 ft (21m) east-west length. This rhythm is repeated without any interruption. As if to emphasize this repetition, the shelf columns, supporting the bookshelf extending across the length of the house, are “repeated” at a double, 36 inch (910mm) spacing; by repeating the same rhythm it is corresponding with the overhead roof rafters.
The large triangular windows to the east and west of the house visually connect this rhythm from inside to outside, blurring the boundary between, and expand the inhabitants’ senses further than the bounding walls. We aim to achieve an ideal imagery of a family, enjoying living in a space of eternal expansion.
Courtesy of Facet Studio
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Termitary House (2014) by Tropical Space located in Thanh Khê District, Vietnam | The Hardt
Termitary House (2014) by Tropical Space located in Thanh Khê District, Vietnam. The Termitary House was built in Da Nang, a central coastal city of Viet Nam. The climate in this area is rather extreme in the way it varies significantly between the sunny season and the rainy one. It is also influenced by a lot of tropical storms every year. Besides, Da Nang is well-known for the remains of Champa baked-brick Towers (during the Ancient Champa Kingdom), constructed during the time from the 4th century to the late 15th century. Of all, “Mỹ Sơn” Holy land is the most well-known. Inspired by the termites’ special ability to build their nests in the local area, the architect has designed the house with a large sharing space in the center where a cooking counter, a dining table, and an entertaining corner are found. This “lobby” then leads to different functional areas in the house such as the restroom, the living room, and the bedrooms. All are connected artistically and comfortably. The mezzanine is where another bedroom, an altar room, and a small library are found.
The house is mainly built with baked bricks which are also a traditional material in the local area. They are the very material to have been used for the construction of the mysterious ancient Champa towers. The ceilings are cast with original concrete, and the floors are covered with terrazzo in dark colors. All furniture is made with the timber from the roof of the old house, which helps make the total actual cost of the construction a significant saving (about under 22,000 USD) That the walls are entirely built with baked bricks makes the house cool in the summer; for this kind of bricks can function as a certain factor to keep the humidity for the entire house. The special constructing technique of “double skins” with two layers of one brick wall covering outside and one glass-aluminum frame inside creates a space within a wall, which functions as a buffer layer at both gables.
Besides, the arrangement of the toilets and the storage rooms along the walls not only helps block the strong winds during the stormy season but also leads them towards and through the gaps straight to the roof. This is due to the remarkable difference in pressure. On the roof, architects use a system of girders and upside down floors to create a small garden for plants – an ideal place for the whole family to relax and enjoy the breeze during the hot and muggy summer days. The special design of the baked-brick walls with a lot of holes, together with the large inter-floor space, allows breeze and light to get to all the corners of the house, even the hardest-to-access areas. The house owners are also able to enjoy the blue sky during the daytime or the moonlight night-time from the living room, the dining table or the kitchen.
At different times during the day, the variety of the light intensity getting through the inter-floor holes makes the brick wall colors change from the light red in the morning, red at noon, dark red in the afternoon and more purple in the late afternoon and early evening. In the evening and at night, the house looks like a giant lantern with lights here and there from the holes. The surrounding brick walls are decorated with some rough bricks to make shadows. This improves the beauty and charm of every single samel-brick regarding its own shape and color. Both the yard and the garden are covered with coarse gravels with some of the plants (which are rearranged) from the old house in order to retain some familiar features for the owners. Taking the best advantage of ventilation, lighting system and natural air conditioning mechanism has made The Termitary House optimize the positive elements of an effective tropical work.
Jardins House (2013) by CR2 Arquitetura located in São Paulo, Brazil | The Hardt
Jardins House (2013) by CR2 Arquitetura located in São Paulo, Brazil. This residence in São Paulo is a project for a middle-aged couple and a daughter. Neighborhood residents wanted to continue living there, but not in an apartment. The site they found, in a small street, housed an industrial kitchen that occupied 100% of the lot. This building had no architectural value and no concern for sunlight and ventilation. The project arose from the idea of a mini respite in the urban landscape.
The large concrete box of the first floor is the concept of the house. The box has tears, creating voids that illuminate without penetrating the privacy of the residents of the house, which is in the heart of a neighborhood predominantly comprised of buildings. The voids are filled with lush and contemplative gardens, which can be viewed from all environments, creating a visual connection between the ground and the first floor. Another important point in this connection is the double height of the living room, which allows a clear understanding of the house.
The use of inverted beams was the structural solution found so that the slab of the first floor can be seen from the ground floor, strengthening the identity of the concrete box. This choice also allowed the pipes of the entire second floor to be laid out on the floor and the slab. The location of the house on the lot aims to make the most of the sunlight, already quite limited by the surroundings. Downstairs is the social part of the house: on one side is the closed toilet block. On the other side are the kitchen block and service area. Among them, an open living and dining room. The entire floor has granite floors, leaving the feeling of being inside or outside the house. A wall of yellow Cobogó makes a separation from the garage to the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a TV room, and a balcony with a pergola, the result of these tears on the floating concrete box. The staircase in the middle of the living room was adopted as a plastic and structural element, serving as a visual protection from those who enter the residence, partially blocking the view of what is happening in the living room. This is a project with strong modernist references, due to the concrete, the free plan, and the voids, but with a more contemporary and current footprint.
Located in Kenwood, United States, Summerhill Residence (2008) by Edmonds + Lee Architects | The Hardt
Located in Kenwood, United States, Summerhill Residence (2008) by Edmonds + Lee Architects. Edmonds + Lee Architects’ Summerhill Residence sits high in the hills of California wine country. Its distinct forms with raised corners mold an outdoor living area and courtyard. The residence consists of three separate structures, the main house, guest house and detached garage. The orientation of these buildings maximizes usable outdoor space and serves to connect natural and man-made elements.
Interior and exterior spaces extend outwardly to the rolling hills of the surrounding landscape. This connection is harbored by the design to both connect and blur the line between interior and exterior. Full walls of glazing and expansive wooden decks reflect a desire to heighten the experience of being in the “country”. The main and guest houses provide an aesthetic juxtaposition while capturing their own views of the California scenery. Mirroring one another, these two structures vary in dimensionality yet feel interconnected. This also works for the detached garage and can be attributed to a mixture of common materials and a formal language that is consistent throughout each entity. These raised corners of the residential cubes add both formal interests and further serve the architects desire to blend interior and exterior spaces.
From the interior, snapshots of the horizon are mixed with the sloping lines on the interior, using natural and man-made geometries to play off of each other. A play between solid and void relating the buildings allows for privacy even within close vicinity. By night, slits of light show from underneath the masses of these structures. Punctured windows peek out from beneath the wooden overhang of the two-story main house. The three structures rise as a geometric counterpart to the surrounding forests. Exterior wooden cladding along with exposed planes of glazing and concrete merge in order to create both distinct and dialectic design.