House in Kurakuen II

Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Hiroyuki Hirai

The site is a special one in the Hanshin area, a sloping residential area facing the sea, and the form rises from the road by 7 m with an ascending slope of around 30 degrees. From this site there is a view of the entire residential area, the sprawling cityscape of the suburbs of Osaka, and the Bay. It is possible to view the entire scene in one sweep. And so, the first issue in this proposal is how to deal with the special landscape. Hence, I created two blocks of floating steel reinforced structure. On the left is the private rooms zone, while on the right are the public living – dining zone, and both are joined by a sloping ramp. The roof of the topmost floor on the left side individual room block is made to appear as thin as possible. Together with the adjoining terrace, to dramatise living in the air, the continuous horizontal windows are used. For the two storey high living – dining block the usual move would be to have huge two storey openings, but I opted for the opposite. Instead, I decided to use small openings exploring how to frame the view. I feel that it is an effective approach to somehow reverse the general thinking. And so, in the private rooms the view is wide open, while in contrast, in the living and dining area the view is framed.