Journey to Site
Project description

This co-living project addresses the neglect of single-parent households living in the shadows of Japanese society. However, shadow is also very desirable in a region of unbearably hot and humid summers. Providing shade by means of sliding screens – traditionally used as doors or partitions and diffusers of light – also facilitates privacy. Conceptually, these screens allow the whole site to be treated as one large home – the units are simply spaces within this ‘home’ that can be fully enclosed when residents wish to withdraw from the wider group.

This project also has a sustainability objective; in choosing to use solely thinned timber (forestry waste produced from routine felling practices that improve the form and growth of trees), the architecture aims to showcase future possibilities for this unconventional material source in construction. The limitations that come with this type of timber were overcome by exploring traditional joinery systems and combined with contemporary methods for mass production (CNC milling) where each small and rather insignificant element is joined to form a structure that is extremely resilient.

Introducing Constraints
Introducing Constraints
Ground, First and Second Floor Plans expand

At the heart of this project is a wish to shine a light, literally and metaphorically, on the beauty of the bones of a structure; indeed to make a virtue of the multidimensional and sculptural nature of structural form in a way that many designers of buildings, in choosing to conceal them, do not.

Thus, this project becomes a celebration of traditional Japanese timber joinery – reinforced as necessary with more contemporary methods – just as the community’s physical proximity encourages emotional closeness, a sense of community and mutual support.

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Section Rendered / Interior shadows in June
Section Rendered / Interior shadows in June
Elevation Rendered / Interior shadows in December
Elevation Rendered / Interior shadows in December
Residential Unit - Exploded
Residential Unit - Exploded
Residential Unit - Stairs
Residential Unit - Stairs
Communal Unit - Section
Communal Unit - Section
Section A-A expand
Section A-A
Section B-B
Section B-B
Section C-C
Section C-C
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