When you live in a city, you often know your neighbors well, whether you want to or not. For a couple in Fukuoka, the prefectural capital of 1.6 million people on the northern coast of Kyushu, local firm NKS2 Architects flipped a typical suburban home and created a site-specific, innovative design on a busy street where homeowners congregate. I created a design. They can entertain whomever they want, but nothing else. To provide complete privacy, the approximately 3,080-square-foot home is designed like an amphitheater, with its curved wooden walls forming a street-side perimeter that protects it from noise and passersby. . The central stage, so to speak, is a beautifully landscaped courtyard, around which the asymmetrical ring ensures that the internal space is always airy and illuminated by sunlight.
But it is the innovative Japanese tiled roof structure that truly enabled NKS2 Architects partners Kaoru Suehiro, Noriko Suehiro, and Hiroyuki Sato to explore artistry in engineering. The roof, supported by several steel columns and a radial frame of glulam beams of varying lengths, touches the courtyard ground at five points, while providing internal shading and variation. It creates a solid wall and several adjacent pocket gardens. Ventilation windows are installed on three sides.
“The design aimed for an open building that would allow people to enjoy the rich natural environment even in a residential area, and that could be used not only as a private space but also as a gallery and party venue,” Mr. Sato explains of the client. Unusual roof shapes help achieve these goals. The upward angle suppresses sound interference from the busy street on which the home is built, blocks views of surrounding buildings, provides homeowners and their guests with sky views, and collects and recycles rainwater. Masu.
Visitors enter directly into the court through a long hallway before reaching the main entrance. This means gatherings can be held entirely outdoors if necessary. If the garage is your entrance, enter the traditional dirt floor, take off your shoes, and move to the tatami room or kitchen.
The interior is mostly open plan, but the bathroom is in a block separated by a wooden wall and the bedroom is behind a door. Sunlight enters through the perimeter wall through ring-shaped clerestory windows and sometimes narrow vertical openings. The change in scale is thanks to an innovative roof. “On the side facing the front road, the garage and private entrance have low ceilings, and the living and dining areas, where people gather, have wide and high ceilings,” says the architect. “These techniques created a variety of spaces within a continuous space, including courtyards of various sizes and varying ceiling heights.” The umbrella-like wooden structure overhead is visible in its entirety and reflects the house. Combined with the curved plaster walls that catch soft light, it creates a beautiful, organic, minimalist effect.
This round, vessel-like house opens every connected corner of the site to the landscape. Trees and ground cover will be planted on this site, bringing greenery to the cityscape that cannot be seen or heard. This house may have an inward focus, but it’s still a good neighbor.