The volume of the building is a result of Kyoto building law -the setback should meet a certain angle for pedestrians to be able to look into the sky.
To “merge” better with the neighbors and stay invisible in the residential area, the building uses exactly the same material like the other houses except the big windows to invite the sunlight and view in. Since in Japan most of the residences have their windows closed, it’s rather exciting to watch the street scene while sitting inside the house, the house is wrapped by a life movie which is happening everyday.
The first floor is a studio , while the second and third floor is a duplex as the main living area with separate entrance in the back. As a prefabricated wood house the structure can be exposed as much as possible inside except the roof and outside wall for fire proof reasons; the same wood panels are used in kitchen cabinet and floor.
All windows are to connect the house more with the outdoor space, although it’s public; and organized according to the views which selected by the owner and designers. Open the window in the first floor sit at the edge, and look to the mini garden is inspired by the Japanese garden. The second and third floor makes the street space a private show. Curtains play a role in dividing space and defining privacy.
The construction experience in Japan is quite pleasant compared to China. We told constructor to expose the wood panels without further treatment, they then sent us photos of their selected panels to confirm, which was very impressive.