House in Minohshinmachi | Yasuyuki Kitamura
Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Photo credit: Masashige Akeda
Official Project Name: House in Minohshinmachi
Architects / Designers: Yasuyuki Kitamura
Structural Engineer: Takuma Togo
Project completion date: 20 April 2020
Site area: 210.10m2
Building area: 87.52m2
Total floor area: 81.15m2
Main structure: Wooden frame
House in Minohshinmachi expresses the idea that it is possible to build a beautiful, interesting house that is also economical.
This project was designed for a young couple by Japanese architect, Yasuyuki Kitamura.
The planned site is located in the northernmost part of Minoh City, Osaka Prefecture, and the surrounding development area was blessed by a natural environment. However, many of the houses built in the surrounding area were not much different from those built in the city center. In this environment, the client couple wanted a simple house that would allow them to absorb the richness of nature in their daily life, unlike living in a house built in the city.
The south side of the site faces the road, and the east and west sides are flanked by residential lots. On the north side, the site faces the management road of Satoyama Farm, which was established as a buffer zone for the landslide disaster warning area. The background features the magnificent greenery of Mount Aogai, the northernmost mountain in Minoh City. In addressing this border between the ‘city’ and ‘nature’, a quiet residence with a vague boundary between interior and exterior, in harmony with the surrounding natural environment, was required.
The House is a one-story building with a simple, loosely gabled roof, and the volume is kept low so that it is loosely continuous with the surrounding landscape. Additionally, with a very limited construction budget, the structure was built using conventional wooden construction methods, with all pillars measuring 105mm square, and all of them constructed using ordinary structural metals. A simple symmetrical frame structure with columns spaced one pitch apart, a single longitudinal climbing beam inside and outside, and rafters with narrowed ends are used to ensure high seismic performance and to significantly reduce the construction period.
The interior space is extended by paired openings, a light roof, deep eaves, and large skylights that draw in the trees and blue sky. And by nesting the rooms, an intermediate area was created, blurring the interior and exterior of the building. Two pillars placed in the center of the large space, positioned as architectural components with a small cross section, provide the space with a sense of calm, like standing trees in a forest.