Tato Architects

House . Hieidaira

Tato Architects . photos: Satoshi Shigeta . Yousuke Takeda . more: yatzer

The residence is located at the foot of Mt. Hiei near the border of Kyoto and Shiga.
The client is an artist, who needed an atelier and a home for his family, as well as a place for his parents whom he wishes to live together in the future
With a regulation that mandates sloped roofs, the site is surrounded by gable-roofed houses which seem to provide a sense of calmness in the neighborhood. Accordingly, we developed a plan that fits to the surrounding environment of this hillside residential area.

The site was not large enough to accommodate all the needs of the client. In addition, we were informed that an atelier may cause noise and odor. Taking these constraints into consideration, we developed a plan in which three independent cottage-style houses--an atelier and two mini houses (one for the client's family and the other for his parents)--are arranged in such a way to share the watering and drainage area.
The construction of the atelier was simplified to meet the low-budget limitation. Cement excelsior boards, serving as fire-resistant thermal insulators and bearing wall structures, were attached to the structure, which were then covered with corrugated polycarbonate plates. Thermal storage using night time electricity is buried under the ground to provide underfloor heat through the foundation. Bare concrete is used as the finished floor. Likewise, walls and roofs is bare structural materials, which makes it allows the artist/client himself to renovate the building according to the client’s changing needs. The large opening is created on the north side of the building to provide natural sunlightillumination. In addition, cement excelsior board can be removed to receive sunlight from various parts of the walls.
The size and arrangement of windows of the two dwelling houses are scaled to follow the proportion of conventional cottage style, which has an effect of making the houses look smaller than they actually are. The ground level floors of these houses are simply finished with mortar in order to efficiently transmit the heat from the thermal storage system under the foundation. Lauan plywood is used for the interior walls, part of which are painted white by the client himself.
The second floor does not need huge room, but needs sufficient space. If a vertical wall is built, the wall divides the second floor to a very small room and void area. Therefore, instead of a vertical wall, a wall is built to give required space to the rooms. The lean wall becomes ”roof-like-ceiling” as well as ”hill-like-floor” deviding the second floor space. The lean wall also looks like a cottage accommodating another small cottage inside. Normally, a cottage is regarded that inside and outside is the same. In this case, the cottage is not very simple accommodating another cottage inside like crystal.

Project name: House in hieidaira
Location of site: Shiga Japan
Site area: 490.00m2
Building area: 116.01m2
Total floor area: 186.14m2
Type of Construction: Wooden
Program: house&atelier
Project by: Tato architects
Principal designer: Yo shimada
Design period: Apr. 2008 - Dec. 2009
Construction period: Dec. 2009 - Apr. 2010

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