New Kyoto Town House 2

New Kyoto Town House 2

Architect
ALPHAVILLE
Location
Kyoto, Japan
Project Year
2014
Category
Private Houses
Kei Sugino

New Kyoto Town House 2

ALPHAVILLE as Architects

The current wooden house system based on bearing wall calculation hardly fits in with the ‘eel’s bed’ or the elongated housing lots typical of Kyoto, an old capital of Japan. While the width of lots has been segmentalized to provide minimal daylight, ventilation and access over a long period of time, the only option today of opening up the frontage is either steel structure or specialized wooden frame structure.


This project’s tiny site west of the Imperial Palace requires enhancement of spatial connection in terms of both plan and section. We therefore opted for the wood structure: integrated the structural body with partition walls, assigned the stairs that comprise the minimal surface element connecting different floor levels to be the bearing wall, and let the braces be a pair of tension members that traverse the building’s entire frame work from the first to the third floor. As these two braces also serve as columns supporting the beams at the end of each floor slab, their motion within the three dimensional space are reflected to the form of the slab.


These braces are also meaningful because they are one medium of inviting carpenters to the small-scale housing projects, a trial that is unusual in other similar residential projects. As for the low budget and convenience, most small-scale houses in Japan use locally pre-fabricated timber materials. However, this house’s 3-dimensional shapes and the use of unique braces required the craftmanship of Japanese carpenters. The architects are making an effort to merge traditional values of craftmanship and contemporary advantages of industrial technology here.


Furthermore, this project’s main focus lies on the concept to integrate public and private space and furthermore 3-dimensional gradation of them within the house. Due to the elongated housing lot, most houses in this old urban fabric may feel isolated even though these lots are suitable for the privacy respect. One way to solve this issue is to preserve the maximum transparency of the interior space and structure to connect public area in the front and the private courtyard in the back. The partial slabs that do not block one’s view from front to back like usual whole-covered floor slabs successfully integrate public and private in this house.


Space composed of just two brace columns, skipped floors and openings to south and north is a three dimensional development of the traditional wood structure consist of floors, pillars and openings to road and garden. This is to propose a prototype of a wooden structure housing in Kyoto where grids are broken down into strip-shaped housing lots.


Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being
16 Aug 2022 News
ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being

Located in the heart of Valencia in Spain, Clinica Alejandria designed by ERRE Arquitectura is a pla... More

Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism
16 Aug 2022 News
Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism

Situated in the Hollywood Hills at the edge of a steep promontory, the private residence Bellgave by... More

Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade
15 Aug 2022 News
Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade

In Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda, the Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-b... More

Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument
15 Aug 2022 News
Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument

In 2017 the iconic Bauhaus work ‘Bundesschule Bernau,’ built by Bauhaus director Hannes... More

Ippolito Fleitz Group redefines office culture through a network of fluid and adaptable spaces
15 Aug 2022 News
Ippolito Fleitz Group redefines office culture through a network of fluid and adaptable spaces

Ippolito Fleitz Group designs the Swiss headquarters for an international pharmaceutical company in... More

Atelier Archmixing designs a cultural landmark amidst a picturesque mountain landscape
15 Aug 2022 News
Atelier Archmixing designs a cultural landmark amidst a picturesque mountain landscape

Nestled in the mountainous region of Chengde, the Art centre of Aranya serves as a connection betwee... More

Top 10 Trending Glazed Office Partitions
12 Aug 2022 Specification
Top 10 Trending Glazed Office Partitions

Glazed office partition systems respond to the essential needs oftoday’s workplaces. Transpare... More

Casa Aco by Giuseppe Gurrieri Architetto merges a contemporary volume with Italian rural vernacular
11 Aug 2022 News
Casa Aco by Giuseppe Gurrieri Architetto merges a contemporary volume with Italian rural vernacular

In Italy’s Apulian countryside, Casa Aco by Giuseppe Gurrieri Architetto is a renovation and e... More