House near Kyoto Gosho

Shigeo Ogawa

The project is a residence for a family, a couple and their two children, planned in a residential district extending in the west of Gosho (an Imperial Palace) in Kamigyo Ward of Kyoto City.
As the children are small, we considered to materialize a one big room composition that enables a sign of everyone’s presence wherever in the house, although each unit of space is independent, on a 73 square meters site. In the west-east direction a long and thin courtyard is positioned on the site’s northwest corner. On the leftover L-shaped interior space a staircase was positioned at the center. Three-dimensionally, the plan and section were planned to be split levels as a whole.
On the other hand, the place is a part of landscape restricted district peculiar to Kyoto. Consequently, the exterior parts such as the facade and the roof shape were not allowed to directly reflect the condition of the interior spaces. The biggest challenge of the design was to meet the exterior, which is restricted by architectural design code such as the requirement of eaves on each floor, a 90 centimeters setback of the third floor facade, a roof shape that only allows parallel position of an entrance to the roof’s ridge, restricted colors and finish materials, and the interior that is partly divided but is a one big white room, at the boundary without contradictions.
The project realized us that urban residences, especially the ones that are built on a historical city such as Kyoto, have impacts to the urban landscape, though there is only 4 meters frontage.