ALPHAVILLE architects

New Town House . Kyoto


ALPHAVILLE architetcts . photos Kei Sugino . K Takeguchi

This is a residential house located on a narrow site in the centre of Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. The area is lined with traditional wooden townhouses. While inheriting the advantages of townhouses, we intended to overcome their drawbacks and create a comfortable and enjoyable space.





































The most characteristic feature of this house is the polyhedral form of the partition walls. They are not made by intuition but are based on logical concepts and perform multiple functions.
First, the partition walls, normally extended in the vertical and horizontal directions, have multidimensionality and loosely connect the rooms on the three floors. The space thus created is one continuous room with dynamic nuances: it is simultaneously spacious and heterogeneous.
Second, the partition walls serve as reflectors of natural light. They softly reflect the natural light coming from both the north and south sides and bring it to the otherwise dark interior of the building.
Finally, the partition walls blur the boundary between architecture and furniture, thus stimulating perception and behaviour. Melt into floors and ceilings, the plywood-finished walls offer enjoyable experiences of touching and passing. The house as a whole is a machine for living, like playground equipment.
Because of the landscape regulations and the physical context of the neighbourhood, we inherited the traditional form and composition of townhouses.
But at the same time, this house overcome the negative aspects of townhouses. The wooden structure of townhouses cannot afford to have large openings on the short sides of the building as well as on floors. Consequently, the interior is dark and communications of people are limited to the horizontal direction. In this project, it is the steel rigid frame and the polyhedral partition walls that enable to overcome the drawbacks of typical townhouses. Large openings on the walls and the floors, along with the partitions, allow natural light to diffuse multidirectionally, and encourage three dimensional communications and movements.
Freed from the constraints of the old system, occupants can have various relations with each other and place, and a new lifestyle in the historical area of Kyoto emerges.

Architect / ALPHAVILLE – Kentaro Takeguchi + Asako Yamamoto
Location / Kyoto, Japan
Client / Individual
Cost / -
Use / Residence
Design team / Tomohisa Koike(staff), Kazuo Takeguchi(Structural Engineer)
General contractor / Craftman Ship Kawana
Consultants / -
Site area / 78.68 m2
Building area / 44.00 m2
Gross area / 104.66 m2 (1F: 44.00 sqm, 2F: 44.00 sqm, 2F: 16.66 sqm)
Building coverage ratio / 55.92%
Floor area ratio / 133.02%
Building scale / 3 stories
Parking capacity / 1 parking space
Structure system / steel structure
Period of design / 12,2008 - 09,2009
Period of construction / 09,2009 - 03,2010
Major material / Exterior: light-weght roofing tile KAWARA, galvanized steel, aluminum sash, mortal
Interior: maple flooring, light gage steel, plaster board, Japanese linden plywood
Photographer / Kei Sugino , Kentaro Takeguchi

京都の中心市街地,二条城にほど近いうなぎの寝床状の敷地である。景観規制が厳しい地域であると同時に,近隣の町屋が集団となって形づくる街区中央の空地を積極的に継承していくことも考え,外観および建物配置は町屋を模したヴォリュームとした。
一方内部では,1階に駐車場と寝室,2階にメインフロア,3階に子供室,と3フロアにわたる諸室を水平・垂直方向にずらしながら積み重ね,通常水平垂直方向のみにひろがる間仕切壁に3次元方向の自由度を与えることで,抑揚をもって分節されていながら連続する,高密度でありながら広がりのある空間を目指した。
2階から下階に2本,上階に1本つながる3つの階段室では,細かくスキップした各室の間仕切り壁が次第にチューブを形づくって,他のフロアへと住人をいざなう。三角形の多面体によって形成されるチューブは,また,次のフロアにおいて折紙のように,床となく壁となく天井となく,緩やかな角度で溶け出していく。多様な角度を持つ間仕切壁はつながりあって,南北面からの光をソフトに反射しながら,建物中心部まで届ける。壁はシナベニアで仕上げられており,建物と家具のあいだに位置するスケール感が,移動しながらくぐったりなぞったりする楽しさを生みだす。
鉄骨造の1方向ラーメンのシンプルな門型フレームを,細かく並べて建物外周と床を形づくった中に,L G Sを立体的に接合して多面体のパネルをつむいでいった。
場所と場所,人と人,そして,場所と人との距離感に刺激や歪みを与えることで,日常生活の中のありふれた移動も,わくわくする行為になる。そんな遊具のような住機械を提案した。
(竹口健太郎+山本麻子)


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