The project consists of a private residence for a family of ﬁve. Given that the Utsunomiya region has an inland climate, temperature greatly ﬂuctuates, requiring a large energy consumption for air conditioning and heating systems. In order to create a comfortable environment without relying so much inactive systems, the site was carefully analyzed to bring natural energy into the house while unifying the interior-exterior spaces, all this by proﬁting from a corner plot location. The design study included an analysis of the family’s behavioral patterns, especially the mother who spends most of the time at home and makes use of most of the spaces; according to her daily activities as well as light, wind, and heat ﬂow across the house, the best layout resulted on an X-shape.
This X was vertically divided, allocating public spaces in the north and south wings, (dining and study room in the north side and living room in the south side), and private areas in the east and west sides (bedrooms, children’s room, and bathroom). Additionally, a corridor running from east to west divides the living room and dining room and is enclosed by sliding doors that allow to obscure the space according to need.
The living room in the south wing was designed as a solar collector room during wintertime, where the wall position was deﬁned by the sun incidence angle from 10:00 to 15:00 hours during the winter solstice. During the daytime, the movable partition in the living room is meant to be closed in order to collect heat and open after sunset to distribute the heat to the neighboring rooms. During summer the wind ﬂ owing from the south is let into the house by a large sliding door that encloses the living room, and a mechanism was set up in order to allow this wind to escape on the north end of the house. Lastly, given the particular X-shaped layout that squeezes the center of the building, a microclimate is created by allowing wind to circulate and gain speed as it moves from a wider area to a narrower space.