Japan based studio Tato Architects designed the House in Yamasaki, Hyogo in Japan that was completed in 2012.
House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects:
This is a house in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture for a couple and their two children. The construction site is a part of a place surrounded by mountains and the sky is overcast most of the days. I wanted to create light, stable indoor climate and came up with a plan of three sheds of house type arranged on a 1.8 m high, grey foundation platform.
The level of the first floor was lowered by 760 mm below the ground to get firm basement, as the site was slant before the development, and to get more stable performance of the floor heating system of foundation heat condensing type utilizing the terrestrial heat. It was also expected that the whole site could be used like a garden as the rooftop neared the ground thereby. The site is at the corner entering the residential area and I thought that lowering the rooftop would leave wide visibility to the surroundings of the mountains and the sky, and that it would be beneficial to the whole residential area.
Building materials explained:
Corrugated polycarbonate panels are used for outer walls of bathroom shed and sunroom shed among the three sheds to take in solar radiation. Moisture and water absorbing and heat-retaining sheets of greenhouse use are inserted in between the corrugated panels and structure. The inside of the walls are formed with heat insulating layer of polycarbonate clear hollow sheet. The ceiling and walls of bathroom are further filled up with light transmitting thermal insulation material of reproduced PET bottles.
To bring the second floor close to the first floor 50 mm square pipes are laid around the opening connecting both floors. They are sandwiched by the flooring material and the ceiling material to come up to 80 mm thickness. This opening is to be closed with a shade during extremely hot hours in summer and extremely cold nights in winter.
The outer walls of a foundation platform are covered with fiber reinforced cement board leaving space a little to make rainwater drops easily off the edges and also to provide shading. The RC part is provided with external heat insulation and broken cobblestones are laid all around it for drainage of rainwater and heat insulation.
Photos by Tato Architects