Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Japanese House

Set aside a room or a certain hour of the day
Where you do not even know what is in the morning papers
And bring forth what you are, and what you might be
This is a place of creation and incubation
A sacred place that you use every day
At first you might think nothing is happening
But something will happen
And you will eventually find yourself again and again

                                                                  Joseph Campbell

A home is, above all, an opportunity for deepening our living experience. This function of the house is as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago. However, the house also serves as a stage for various other functions, which have evolved over time in response to social, economic, and technological changes. Before the Industrial Revolution, the home was a place where family produced, processed, and stored essentials like food and clothing. During the 20th century, such task started to shift into the factory and office, which replace the home as the locus of trade and business. During the current Information Age, however, the trend is partially reversing itself with the rise of telecommunications. As our lifestyles change, the way we think about our houses and the way we use them will continue to change too.

NE Aparments

Japanese architects Akiyoshi TakagiYuji Nakae and Hirofumi Ohno have collaborated on NE Apartments, a block of eight apartments for motorcycle enthusiasts in Tokyo.

The c-shaped design was a practical decision to allow the residents to access their apartments through a common alley that leads right to the center of the complex.

This 8-unit rental apartment house complex was designed to house motorcycle enthusiasts, with a built-in garage included in every unit.

The building is located on a flag-shaped plot near the apex of a triangular block, with a certain degree of open space toward the main road to the south.

On the entrance side, each floor is fitted with a continuous strip of curved windows, with a comparatively wider opening on the second level. The orientation of each room was set to avoid a direct view of the opposite apartment. Combined with a double-paned window, this setting provides a peculiar feeling of privacy.

The walls separating each apartment unit were disposed in a radial pattern, each with a gentle curve that leads them to meet the external wall at a right angle. By connecting the angles of each room, the curved walls contribute to give the impression of a more spacious environment.