‘new kyoto house’ by alphaville
all images courtesy alphaville
japanese architects kentaro takeguchi and asako yamamoto of alphaville have recently completed ‘new kyoto house’ in japan. 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 named ‘machiya’. while inheriting the advantages of townhouses, the architects 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 multiple dimensions 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 behavior. because of the landscape regulations and the physical context of the neighborhood, the architects inherited the traditional form and composition 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 overcome the drawbacks of typical townhouses. large openings on the walls and the floors, along with the partitions, allow natural light and encourage three dimensional communications and movements.
the exterior of ‘the new kyoto house’
the panels within the house
site area: 78.68 m2
building area: 44.00 m2
gross area: 104.66 m2: (1f: 44.00 m2, 2f: 44.00 m2, 2f: 16.66 m2)
building coverage ratio: 55.92%
floor area ratio: 133.02%
building scale: 3 stories
parking capacity: 1 parking space (1f: 13.82m2)
structure system: steel structure
period of design: 12,2008 – 9,2009
period of construction: 9,2009 – 04,2010