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Shiokaze House

Ana Juárez & Abel Campo

The main mission of architecture is to improve the quality of life for people through the creation of comfortable and functional spaces that provide them with shelter and adapt to their needs. However, today, architecture faces several global challenges, such as accelerated urbanization, scarcity of resources, and climate change. This is why architects find it necessary to promote sustainable designs that aim to generate a positive impact on the world.

Within this context, Asian architecture, particularly traditional Japanese architecture, has been recognized for its ability to adequately respond to sustainability needs. It makes use of natural materials, adapts to climate conditions, and encourages a close relationship and communication with the natural environment, integrating buildings into it. This minimizes environmental impact and promotes harmony with nature. Taking this into consideration, we decided to locate our Off The Grid project in the "Land of the Rising Sun" and apply some of its features and construction techniques.

Shiokaze House is located on the shoreline of Furuzamami Beach, which is situated on Zamami Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The term "shiokaze" translates from Japanese as "sea breeze," referring to its surroundings. For the volumetric design, Mount Fuji, one of the greatest symbols of Japanese culture, was used as a concept. This resulted in a split-level house that maximizes available space to create a simple and cozy environment.

In addition to traditional Japanese architectural elements, this house also incorporates passive sustainable techniques, which leverage natural lighting, cross-ventilation, and sun protection in accordance with the tropical climate typology. It also makes use of natural and durable materials such as cypress wood, bamboo, mud, straw, and stone. Furthermore, it employs self-sufficient energy systems (solar and wind) and water systems (rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment with wetlands).

In conclusion, Shiokaze House is an excellent example of "off the grid" architecture, as it promotes a more self-sufficient, sustainable, and resilient way of life. It serves as an inspiring model that has the potential to transform the way we build and inhabit our environments, opening up new possibilities for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

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