This house stands on top of a steep mountain, 22 meters above ground level in the mountainous area in Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture. We started from building a road for construction along the steep ground, which eventually transformed into the building site. The house is narrow and long with a depth of 5 meters, and is lifted off the ground to alleviate an oppressive feeling from the steep mountain rising at the back, and thus provided a pilotis on the ground level.
We had to start our plan from the very basic necessities, as the side had no connection to supplies of water, electricity and gas, and also no adjacent road because it was blocked by an irrigation channel serving the neighboring vegetable field. The structure is a hybrid of wood structure on the upper floor to achieve good thermal insulation, and steel structure on the ground floor to provide appropriate distances between the columns for car parking.
We conducted all construction processes by separate ordering system, because the client wanted to understand clearly how his house was constructed. It was our first experience to adopt the separate ordering system, so we made a plan based on a simple composition to allow for easily manageable construction processes. We designed a simple wood structure system where each of the components (namely fittings, partitions, furniture, lighting, service ducts etc.) is installed at each structural bay. This system was effective for the inhabitants to understand the architecture and provided maximum adaptability for future changes.
In addition, various environmental measures are taken in this house, such as deep eaves for sun shading, Low-E windows for thermal insulation, concrete block trombe walls for reserve and radiation of heat.
Architect: Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects
Project team: Tomoki Katana
Location: Izumi-shi, Chiba prefecture, Japan
Usage: Private house
Construction: Takaaki Mitsui
Structure: Wood and steel
Number of floors: 1
Total floor area: 180.08m2
Completion: October 2011
Photo: Takumi Ota