Tato Architects / Yo Shimada

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House in Mihama

Location / Fukui, Japan
Type / House
Family constitution / couple+three children


Tato Architects
Team / Yo Shimada Shinpei Oda

Main Structure – Timber
Site Area 584.55 ㎡
124.03 square meters of building area (70% of 21.21% of coverage ratio permission)
122.38 square meters of deferred floor space (200% of 20.93% of floor area ratio permission)
First floor 122.38 ㎡

The site is located in the agricultural village of Mihama, surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Fukui Prefecture. As the area often experience strong winds and heavy snow is was important to consider the buildings structure.
To get a better understanding of the occasionally harsh environment the structure of the village and nearby buildings was observed and registered.
In the village, houses were built in clusters, buildings, sheds and shelters standing shoulder to shoulder often with overlapping eaves, creating an amazing variety of small pathways in between, protected from wind, rain and snow. The clustering houses and gabs in between became the inspiration for the new house.
For volumes with lean-to roofs were placed around a centre, creating a windmill formation. Between the volumes occurred a space similar to the small courtyards and paths in the village.
The more private functions of a home such as bedroom, bathroom and kitchen was placed in the “cabins”, while the more active functions were located in the space in between that opens up to the surrounding landscape.
In the end, this project reflects on the properties of gathering together detached houses for safety and sociability, humans form towns, society and, after all civilizations.

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