7.6.2013

Atelier en Ushimado, Japón

"Por favor, espacios con buenas proporciones", fue la petición inicial. Poner esfuerzo en hacer buenas proporciones es algo natural para un arquitecto, en este proyecto primaba destacarlas.

Los objetos que no eran compatibles con el espacio fueron retirados. En el living comedor de 6 m de alto solamente de colocó una mesa. No hay estantes, ni siquiera un sofá. Las sillas se alinean con la mesa mirando hacia la bahía Ushimado. En el baño se insertó el lavabo en la pared para que no obstruyera visualmente. Lo mismo se hizo con la estufa a leña y para no ocupara espacio fue incrustada en la pared.

 

Original Text in English

«Please make spaces with good proportions,» was the initial request. Being told this is beneficial for the architect. However, it is somehow difficult. Putting in the effort to make good proportions is a matter of course for an architect, and so having it emphasized now puts us on edge. The scenery is excellent. Below is the port of Ushimado. Extending all around is a famously superb view. Mr. A’s former profession involved instigating large art-related projects. He is noy an ordinary person. He is also on a university arts faculty. It feels a bit like a famous food expert sitting and scowling in front of the counter, saying to the sushi chef, «please prepare well-balanced, utterly delicious tuna.»

There is nothing in this house. To be more precise, objects that are not compatible with the spaces are not permitted to be present. In the 6m-high dining/living room, there is only one huge, solid table. There is no sofa or bookshelf. Chairs are lined up along on the table, but only on the side facing the view. The alignment of the table commands a view of Ushimado Bay. The intention is to array artworks along the big wall, but presently it remains a completely white wall. Mr A requested us to eliminate the washbasin in the bathroom. The reason is that, when looking out from the bathtub, the washbasin is a visual obstruction. The washing basin has been incorporated in the wall. It is unified with the wall without a break. Unfortunately, the toilet could not be made in the same way, and it remains in the space. Our special wood-burning stove has also been embedded in the wall. The stove is important for the production of radiant heat so ordinarily it is placed in the middle of the space, but it was more important for Mr. A that it looked good.。

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There are deep eaves to the south, facing the sea. The height of the eaves has been sharply reduced, preventing rain from being blown in and simultaneously blocking the moving sun. Regarding just the depth and height of the eaves, I think Mr. A was worried about the building site for three months. Installing the eaves surroundings also became a problem. The same charred Japanese cedar used on the exterior walls has been affixed around the edges of the openings. Because Ushimado is a center for charred Japanese cedar and all the old houses here use charred Japanese cedar, it was an obvious selection, but Mr. A became anxious about the width of the several centimeters-thick charred Japanese cedar visible from inside. Having been told that, we realized he was correct. The cross-section of the thin, black charred Japanese cedar is visible at the white edge that frames the scenery. Finally, the cross-section of the black charred Japanese cedar has been concealed by a small, white angle plate.

The lifestyle of the retired Mr. A indeed looks good. In order to make terraced fields, he is one by one stacking up stone walls by hand. He puts a small, palm-sized radio on a corner of a stone wall, then on rainy days as well as sunny ones he stacks up stones from morning to evening. There is a thoroughly mature aesthetic here.

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