Tato Architects / Yo Shimada

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House in Ishikiri

Location / Osaka, Japan
Type / House
Family Structure / couple + 1 child

Tato Architects
Team / Yo Shimada Yasuko Hamasaki Yuka Himeno
S³ Associates
Team / Shunya Takahashi Ichiro Hashimoto
Hirota Kensetsu
Two storey + basement
Main structure – Steel construction on concrete mat foundation
Site Area  215.11 ㎡
Building Area 99.37 ㎡ (46.19% of max 60% of coverage ratio permission)
Total Floor Area 133.53 ㎡ (62.08% of max 150% of floor area ratio permission)
Basement floor 19.00 ㎡
First floor 92.98 ㎡
Second floor 2.25 ㎡

In between “Before” and “After”
The site is located in a residential area developed around 1930, on a plot sloping to the west, on the hillside of Mt. Ikoma, overlooking the urban area of Osaka. Passing through the area you can observe the mosaic pattern of old, new and rebuilt houses that tells a history of over eighty years.
It was a challenge to find the proper co-ordination to the surroundings, as the site is 3.5m up from the road level. Thus easily causing the house to look bigger than its actual size. We choose to advance with the design by making spaces one by one, while searching for an appropriate way of building the house so it adapts to the environment.
First, we made concrete walls that cuts into the slope. We created a rough texture by using horizontally stacked lauan plywood strips as formwork, to match the wall with old masonry and concrete-block walls in the area. Above the wall, we placed a black archetypal house shape that follows the roof shape of houses in the neighbourhood. After that, we took a renovation like approach placing more spaces in and around the new structure. The living space was placed under the black house shape. While kitchen and bathroom were placed between the concrete wall and the cliff-retaining wall behind the house, built with a translucent lean-to, roof and wood framed windows and doors. On the road side, a thin flat roof representing the modern lifestyle connects with and covers a box made of steel panels. Commonly used for temporary enclosure of construction sites in Japan.
This design approach resulted in a series of spaces that are related to both “before” and “after”. The places for living are created in a space where different representations of time in the area meet; such as “concrete walls”, “house shape”, “retaining wall”, “a slim flat roof” and “a box of steel plates”
By rethinking, the entire residential area from the viewpoint of this house could lead us to rediscover potentials and riches in all the elements and spaces in the area and its history.

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