Project name: Private residence in Kyoto Architects: EXH Design, Anoffice Location: Kyoto, Japan Project Area: 120.88 sqm Project Year: 2016 Status: Completed Photographs: Cui Yimeng.
Mid of the local Japanese residential area in Kyoto, west side of the Royal palace (30 mins walking distance, 10 mins by bike), EXH design has completed a private house together with Anoffice. The developer has splitted a plot into four slices each 4.2 meters by 15 meters. The client got the last piece at the west side which enjoys a grand view to the neat neighborhood and west sunlight.
The volume of the building is a result of Kyoto building law -the setback should meet a certain angle for pedestrian to look into the sky.
To "merge" better with the neighbors and stay invisible in the residential area, the building uses exactly the same material like the other houses except the big windows to invite the sunlight and view in. Since in Japan most of the residences have their windows closed, it's rather exciting to watch the street scene while sitting inside the house, the house is wrapped by a life movie which is happening everyday.
The first floor is a studio , while the second and third floor is a duplex as the main living area with separate entrance in the back. As a prefabricated wood house the structure can be exposed as much as possible inside except the roof and outside wall for fire proof reasons; the same wood panels are used in kitchen cabinet and floor.
All windows are to connect the house more with the outdoor space, although it's public; and organized according to the views which selected by the owner and designers. Open the window in the first floor sit at the edge , and look to the mini garden is inspired by the Japanese garden. The second and third floor makes the street space a private show. Curtains play a role in dividing space and defining privacy.
The construction experience in Japan is quite pleasant comparing in China. We told constructor to expose the wood panels without further treatment, they sent us then photos about their selected panels to confirm which is very impressive.