jun igarashi architects: house o jun igarashi architects: house o
may 30, 2011

jun igarashi architects: house o

‘house o’ by jun igarishi architects in hokkaiodo, japan all images courtesy jun igarishi architects image © iwan baan

japanese studio jun igarishi architects has sent us images of ‘house o’, a single-storey residence in a small forestry town of eastern hokkaido, japan. highly contrary to the densely-packed sites that are more common to japanese architecture, the design takes full advantage of the expansive, non-restrictive site to explore a new arrangement of living spaces. 

in context image © iwan baan

in order to generate rooms with ideal orientation and the most effective circulation route, the design adopts a sprawling arrangement composed of multiple box-like volumes. each program is shaped to a compact plan and placed in a favourable location in relation to other programs and relevant external conditions: the kitchen is given a place nearest to the tree garden in order to establish a strong visual connection with the site; the living room, being a principal communal space, is located in the middle with a large south-facing window to gain natural daylight.

exterior view image © iwan baan

the ideal ceiling height of each mass was determined for the individual program, establishing an appropriate sense of spaciousness or intimacy. at the center, the living room stands as the tallest volume while the rest of the units become shorter as they sprawl out. depending on the vantage point, the collective exterior visual of this organization is at once dynamic and symmetrical.

image © iwan baan

the design also addresses the extreme climate of the area by integrating in passive sustainable methods to the house’s overall form and shape. during the colder seasons, the many pockets of open space created between the boxes allow for more of the facades’ surface area to be exposed and warmed to light. these nooks also serve as external buffer zones, aiding in ventilation during the summer as well as providing shade over the windows.

image © iwan baan

outdoor nook image © iwan baan

image © iwan baan

view into the kitchen image © iwan baan

interior view image © iwan baan

living room image © iwan baan

image © iwan baan

window image © iwan baan

image © iwan baan

connection of space image © iwan baan

on site image © iwan baan

site map

floor plan (1) entrance (2) storage (3) living room (4) washroom (5) toilet (6) dining room (7) kitchen (8) japanese style room (9) guest room (10) storage room (11) washroom (12) utility (13) bathroom (14) bedroom (15) closet (16) pit


project info:

designer: jun igarashi, taichi hisatomi structural design: daisuke hasegawa & partner

structure: wooden storey: single site area: 1483.65 m2 building area: 112.15 m2 total area: 112.15 m2

  • Very interesting design. I agree that the surface area is ideal when trying to cool the building in Summer. But by the same token I assume the surface area doesn’t help in Winter, as the heat would escape.

    BS says:
  • Wow, the contrast between exterior and interior is really striking. Not sure I like the exterior and it would give off a lot of heat during the summer.

    thedisgruntledarchitect.wordpress.com says:
  • I like this structure immensely – the contrasts are incredible – dark/light, in/out, formal/casual, structured/irregular, synthetic/organic, caontainment/release

    the spaces have a beautiful baroqueness about them and at the same time are highly modernist

    the exterior brings a whole new level of meaning to “engawa” and as the landscape is developed will undoubtedly become incredible place(es)

    I would like to live in this environment

    I would like to see it ten years from now

    dbkii says:
  • all that spreading out, yes, creating some sheltered exterior spaces; but no sense of connection to them or use of them. all that solid wall seems so defensive.

    nicey says:
  • I would love to have built this…
    A very fun construction with interesting
    waterproofing problems and solutions.
    wonderful tall curtains blowing in the breeze.

    Free Form Constructural Realism says:
  • I dislike this. Maybe in another setting it would make some visual sense. Just seems wasteful without the benefit of any beauty.

    Angela says:
  • two thumbs up!!! really wonderful sculptural effects and wonderful interior volumes. the court yard needs a landscape makeover. and if it had a really wonderful vertical feature windows could have really soared in the interior. a private little eden.

    daniel S says:
  • Possibly the worst localized design i have EVER seen. the written description talks about responding to local conditions constantly but the elevational design/ plan layout/ and material use have nothing to do with the location in which it is set.

    bigbolk says:

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