House-Standard 2004

Hiroyuki Hirai

My intention here was to create, not a one-off “prototype” for a single client, but a house for an imagined, abstract client.
This was to be, not a custom-built house, but a ready-built house for a predetermined developer and builder. The small development involved three adjacent lots, each 5.4 meters wide. I decided to use this as an opportunity to develop a standard house for narrow sites.
The first thing I did was to secure the maximum floor area on a site of about 90 square meters. The main volume of the house accommodates bedrooms and storage on the first floor, the living and dining room on the second floor, and a multipurpose Japanese-style room on the third floor. These are connected vertically by a stairway. A washroom, bathroom, toilet and storage are arranged on intermediate levels. Thus the building consists of two volumes of different sizes. A rigid-frame structure of assemblies was adopted for the larger volume. This made possible spaces with a 5.2-meter high ceiling, which is difficult to achieve with ordinary wooden construction. Conventional wooden construction was used for the smaller volume to facilitate any renewal of the mechanical system or additional construction in the future.