Combining the essence of row houses and Peranakan architecture, House in Ohasu by the Japanese office arbol grows in height from the entrance to the back. This decision made it possible to have different spatial qualities throughout this single-family house and created a bright succession of spaces that includes a two-story sector that divides the public from the private.
Ph. Yasunori Shimomura
The house is located away from the center of Higashi-Osaka city, Osaka prefecture. Temples are found in the center and old residential houses and stores still remain. This region is located in a buried cultural property, among a dense residential area of Japanese-style row houses.
At the start of the design process, the client’s request was clear: they preferred Singapore’s Peranakan architectural features. In other words, they were looking for an extraordinary atmosphere for the house; and they had a clear image for the location of the rooms and the façade. For this reason, the first plan took into account Peranakan architectural elements in the design, however, as the process moved forward the plans expanded to other styles. Thus, the concept was created in such a way that Peranakan architectural element is incorporated with the traits of Japanese-style row houses.
Peranakan architecture features a landscape as an arcade by connecting the front porch and the sidewall arches together in a row. Thus, the height of the wall is higher in the entrance than the back of the house, making it so that some parts of the house occupy two stories and creating a three-dimensional effect.
Arches partition the rooms, which are designed in the following order: front road, entrance, front yard, living-dining room and kitchen, courtyard, utility room, bedroom. The size of the arches vary rhythmically. At the back of the house, its layers are overlapped, allowing for shadows in the space and adding depth to the whole house.
Inside the rooms, there is a sense of expectation, as if passing through Peranakan architecture, a space where one can feel the connection with the outside. The design, which appears as if it is cutting the arches, produces a sense of openness through this efficient visual effect.
The house is built in a maximum building coverage ratio like a row house. The front yard and the courtyard are set inside. These yards connect softly between the outside space and the private inside space, creating a sense of openness vertically from the sky and allowing in the natural sunlight as well as the changes of the seasons and time. This creates a profound openness that moves. In addition, the exterior walls of the façade and the courtyard let in the wind through the gaps in the floor because of the cantilever.
The landscape design is created by using southern plants that are dark green and have large leaves that harmonize with the concept of the house. One can enjoy the colors and the changes with the season.
In order to facilitate the interior ventilation and insulation as well as taking into account the idea that the residents and the building should be equally healthy, the walls and ceilings are designed in a natural material and plaster-oriented finish. For the insulation, wooden sprayed insulation is chosen, and the sash is created with multi-layered glass (partly using vacuum glass) to improve its performance. A second type of ventilation system is also selected, which removes impurities from the outside air through a filter. This enables clean air to circulate in every corner of the house.
This plan was created by cutting and rebuilding an aged adjacent row house. The house was reborn through reinterpreting the exotic architectural arches of the front yard and the courtyard. Light, wind, and the daily changes of the seasons can be felt firmly in the house. A comfortable daily life is provided to the residents, adding an essence of exotic but straightforward elements.
DATE: 2019 / LOCATION: Higashi Osaka city, Osaka prefecture, Japan / AREA: 59,48 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: house / STATUS: built / DESIGN: arbol, Pierre Le Fur / IMPLEMENTATION DESIGN: arbol, Yuko Inoue, arhifto, Miyamoto Yoshikuni (construction design firm) / SITE SUPERVISION: arbol, Yuko Inoue / CONSTRUCTION: Iwatsuru Corporation / CONSULTANTS: Green Space CO.,LTD. (landscape), Daiko electric co., ltd. Katsuhiko Hanai (lighting) / PHOTOS: Yasunori Shimomura