House in Higashi-Otsu

Higashi-Otsu, Shiga
Hiroyuki Hirai

This is a residence for two generations of a family, and consists of several private rooms and a living/dining space for all to gather. Nevertheless, the inner spaces were all designed as white, featureless spaces irrelevantly to such particular purposes, in an attempt to design the ‘distance’ that the residents would feel within this inner space. The fact that everything inside the building is ‘white’ already blurs the sense of distance. Moreover, six floor levels and a total of nearly 25 m of corridors and stairs arranged inside the wooden triple-storied structure were intended to bring only the ‘distance’ between the inhabitants to consciousness. The living/dining space that is the final destination was planned in contrary as a large single-room space open outward.
The challenge here involved considering inner spaces as an exterior, by adopting a finish that would give an impression that it is an architecture’s inner space to the very end, that is, creating a promenade-like space of white with vague resemblances to some external landscape. For I believe that ‘interior/external’ is the most important issue in architecture – the black, matte metal plates used on the exterior finish as opposed to the white interior embodies as well as emphasizes this issue. At the same time, it illustrates my wish that this architecture would feed upon this meandering suburban landscape.