In the suburbs of Japan,Young people are flowing into urban areas, and the aging of towns is accelerating.
Commercial facilities and restaurants, streets are occupied with chain stores of them. Therefore, suburbs have become lonely places with no locality.
It’s typically seen as 4LDK (This means 4-bedrooms and Living room, Dining room, Kitchen, It’s called nLDK system.) houses with small gardens and parking spaces in suburbs of Japan. And,It is normally seen in small restaurants and repair shops with broken cars along their roadside.
The house was built on the edge of a suburban housing complex about 30 minutes drive from the center of Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture(Chiba area is the neighbor of Tokyo and part of the greater Tokyo area. Ichihara has a 268,816 population.).And it was placed along the backroad.
The client demanded to get a large site where they could build a one story house good enough for living and repairing cars for sale. It was not so difficult to get a 300m2 of the site at a cheap price in the suburb.
At first the client imagined a "carport" or a "garage house”. Most carports in Japan are just like a pilotis with a roof that is about as big as a car,so they are "attachments" of the house. However, considering the couple's lifestyle, we suggested "garage and house", which means treating the garage equally as a house and sets it up like an independent car shop.
We aimed for the house to give them the lifestyle of living with work. It would create a new landscape in monotonous suburban life.
As planning a house and a garage on their property, We planned a square volume of 90m2 on a land of 300m2 and by making the path which splits the volume of 90m2 that lets cars pass through to service.
As a result, it was divided into a 60m2 house and a 30m2 garage. It makes the garage facing two roads on the north and the west sides and the house unit being protected by it.
The house unit consists of a large one room, a small guest room, and a loft space with a duckboard floor.
Since there is a thicket area on the south side, the house unit is largely opened to its side. And at the same time it is closed to the garage side where cars are moving and visitors come and go for protecting their privacy. By putting high side lightings on the northwest side wall and making the ceiling with a duckboard, various natural lights shine indoors all day long.It makes them feel the flow of time inside of the house.
The roof has a structure that descends toward the bedroom from the path in the center.The high ceiling of the living room gives you a big space with openness. On the contrary, you can feel calm with a low ceiling in the bedroom.
In order to realize a garage unit originally not requested within the limitation of the budget, we carefully considered unfinished structural parts, finishing areas or choices of materials etc.
We chose materials which can be aged rather than fake or printed materials. Lauan veneer is used for the inner walls of the house unit, and P-tile(Plastic based tiling materials produced by Tajima) is used on the floor. The insulation for the roof was put outside of the structural veneers. It makes lumbers of structures not hidden and exclude plaster boards for interior walls..
For the garage unit, we tiled only the gray plaster boards as an interior finish for the minimum finishing and restrictions of fire.
The house unit reflects the taste of the wife who likes the texture of the wood and the frame. On the other hand, the garage is the taste of the husband who likes the rugged atmosphere of DIY, so that each unit has its own place.
It has been mainly created by nLDK houses in suburban housing lots from after World War II. It is specialized in "active outside, sleep inside”. So the house was closed socially and no one can feel the atmosphere of the families.
We think "garage and house” as the balance of the both units one of which is the protected house and the other is the opened workplace or hobby space makes the identity of the family percolate to the society.
In addition, We think that if the time spent at home increases due to changes in work styles, it will be more important than ever to have a place to live that suits each family's style.
Our plan was each "garage” and “house” strongly reflect the character of the husband and wife to be a special place for each other.
We hope that this architecture will encourage the couples who are getting over various difficulties, and enrich the lives of them.