House on Nishinokyo-hills

Nara, Nara
Shigeo Ogawa

A house in the suburbs of Nara, built for a nuclear family of a couple and their child. The family has several vehicles-cars for daily use, and motorcycles for hobbies-therefore an ample parking space stretched across the frontage facing the front road was required. Thus, the closed facade is set back accordingly, with all but the wide-open leisure room on the first floor. Rooms that require more privacy, such as a master bedroom on the east, a child’s room and a tatami room on the south, are on the first floor of an L-shaped plan, with all of them facing the same courtyard in the northwest corner. To prevent the rooms from being too open to other rooms through the courtyard, we planned small openings for the rooms facing the garden, retaining the courtyard’s degree of independence.
In contrast, the second-floor living and dining areas sit on the south side of the house with a large opening to the north. A skylight above the southern wall emphasizes the 3.2-meter ceiling height. With a view in the consistent northern light, over the wooden deck terrace above the master bedroom, the living and dining areas create an illusion of living outdoors. The view to the north horizontally expands while sunlight pours directly down from the southern skylight.
A Shoin-zukuri architecture in Zen Buddhism enjoys a green garden on its north side, constantly bathed in sunlight as the sun crosses the sky from east to west. The south garden would be a garden of light and shadow with abstract materials like rocks. The interior space would cast light and shadow from the reflection and diffusion of the garden’s sunlight glowing the dark attic space. Such was the architectural vision for this modern urban home.

English translation: Fraze Craze Inc.