In the past 60 years, as information technology progressively have changed in Japan, our housing industry has rapidly become adjusted to it." "This “forced adjustment” to our society has caused a transformation to our traditional lifestyle, and the housing space has been often talked by “nLDK” ; n (number of private rooms) L (living) D (dining) K (kitchen). The concept of nLDK is to describe how much value your house has. The spatial flexibility and relationship (private and public) among n, L, D, and K are separated and lost, and as a result, “function” started to walk alone.
Studio LOOP's proposals to the new houses of today was “WITH” and “BEAT”. With these two houses they are trying to re-consider and re-organize a quality of relationship of nLDK to re-adjust a current and a future lifestyle.
Project Name: WITH
Project Year: 2008-2009
Location: Itakura town, Gunma, Japan
Structure: Wood Construction
Site Area: 413.13 sqm
Building Area: 133.32 sqm
Total Floor Area: 173.07 sqm
Located on a rural area in Gunma, Japan, this site is surrounded by a particular environment, busy traffic on north, big flat farm garden on west and east, and long line of tree of cherry blossom on south. The climate here is also unusual. In the summers the town records the hottest temperature every year, and in the winters it has a strong gust wind from north and west that blows into this area.
To live with this severe environment the young family who are the clients requested a typical house, which offer privacy and a lot of natural light with good ventilation. They also wanted to have place where the family could feel protected and experience nature’s sensitivity and motion. "Beginning with these keywords and programs they gave us, our solution to the house started to form."
First, we imaged “a surrounded big hole” inside of a house as LDK. Originally, primitive human habited in a hole (cave) because they had to protect themselves from a hazardous enemy and environment. We used this “hole” idea as a direction of a solution to initiate our design process.
The 5 m double volume hole (LDK) exists so that the family can share all their activities, such as cooking, eating, playing, studying, and even running. Opposite to the hole (LDK) placed in the center body of the house is a private room zone (master bedroom and kid’s bedroom) and service room zone (bathroom, toilet, and storage). They are placed 600 mm below LDK, and surround the hole (LDK).
Another main character of this house is the 2m x 5m fix high window placed in the upper level. It gives a view to the sky from LDK down stair, and also strengthens the sensitivity of being in the hole that makes a family feel protected. Surely it provides enough natural light even on cloudy day. In the spring, this window becomes a picture frame of cherry blossom trees that is one of Japan’s traditional trees. In the summer time, the corridor in the 2nd floor becomes an eave to protect from direct sunlight, and in winter time, sun can penetrate into the kitchen to heathen up the LDK space.
About Studio LOOP
Studio LOOP consists of a team of five members, three architects including an interior designer, one working with management, and one with marketing. They were grouped and established in 2005. They primarily work on architectural design, product and interior design, also digital media involved in this field.
"LOOP doesn't just mean circle, but LOOP stands for a relationship among family, friends, nature, ecology, society, culture and world. Our concept is to re-establish the way architectural thinking on how it can be solved in different perceptions. Not only by architecture but also by activities, we hope to create a new "LOOP"."
"In the suburban area, opposite to the urban area like Tokyo, people have a lot of opportunities to have a relationship to nature everyday. Here we started to design a house that can stand against its particular environment."
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