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2012年03月 アーカイブ

2012年03月18日

Interior collaboration with "I'm home." Noguchi residence

This residence that achieved balance between house and feline was completed with the help of architect Tomoyuki Utsumi and our magazine. This interior design project began in 2011, and an ideal house was created with the deep integrity of the architecture as well as the interior.
The building that stands on the corner of a quiet residential area is 3 stories and has 6 rental houses in addition to the 105sq.ft owner penthouse. The owner, Yoko Noguchi, is a breeder of the world’s largest cat, Maine Coon. She wanted to create a house that is comfortable for her cat as well as for herself, in a space where cat and human can coexist. The elevator-accessible Noguchi residence has a spacious cat room on the bright and comfortable south side. The glass wall dividing the cat room and living dining separates the human space from the cat’s space, and invites the light deep into the house. Chief magazine editor and head of the interior coordinating project Elisa Sumita joined the project after the basic planning was complete. She envisioned “a house that makes the cat look beautiful” and decided that the basic interior color scheme should match the color of the cat. She selected a navy wall paper for the living room to match the porcelain floor tiles that were chosen, and grey and silver damask wallpaper for the bedroom, which unified the whole house in a chic color scheme. She also advised the owner to change the design of the glass wall that divides the cat’s room from the living space to a design that looks like a door, and selected each item in the room from various interior shops.
A unique and unforgettable space to enjoy both the soft daylight overlooking the terrace during the daytime and emotional lighting at night time was created.

forest villas / H residence

The H residence is a 2-story wooden structured weekend home that stands in the quiet area of Karuizawa, NAGANO. The architect Andrea Hikone tried to diffuse the house within nature, and suppressed its presence by designing the house in a U shape. The U shape also plays a great role in interior zoning; the garage and entrance are located in the northeast side which faces the road, the playroom and LDK are located along the southeast side, and the bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the deep southwest side of the land, with the level of privacy increasing as the house goes further into the land.
On the southeast side, the living room, dining room, kitchen and playroom are positioned in one big space. Also, the pantry and utility are behind the kitchen, gently separated by a wall. To protect the house from the damp climate of Karuizawa, she raised the floor and changed its level in many areas to give some accents to the space. The 2-story southwest block feels like an annex connected by the skip floors. Also, different paint is used in each room, to create a difference ambience.
To minimize the maintenance, materials resistant to moisture, such as Galvalume for the exterior wall, the plastering material for the interior ceilings, and paulownia wood for the furniture were used. The heat changing system "inventor" keeps the room temperature stable and takes out the humidity, creating a relaxing weekend home.

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forest villas / A residence

A’s Karuizawa weekend home stands on a slope seeing Mt. Myougi toward the south. The owner wanted to make the best of the trees and flowers that were naturally growing and asked the architect Satoshi Okada and garden designer Paul Smither to help.
Due to space regulations along the boundary line, Mr. Okada maximized the space by planning a spindle-shaped building pointing east and west. The giant red steel roof was designed to be thin and elegant. The roof slants 1/5 degrees and ends at the edge of the slope on the east side, hiding the house from neighboring houses. The north side of the building is underground, and the south side is open towards the slope. The bedrooms and bathrooms were planned in the reinforced concrete basement. The living and dining rooms have glass on 4 sides, and were built on the steel-structured ground floor. The light leads the guests from the dark underground entrance hall to a glass bridge that connects to the open living/dining room that overlooks the mountains. Three alcoves were created on the walls of the dimmed basement floor. The spacing and angles were calculated as to not to see everything at one time and give the space an expansive feel.
The garden was designed to keep the original landscape; the vegetation invites trees and bugs around the water, and flowers blossom seasonally. This home added a new sense of beauty to the nature around it and created a beautiful life that coexists with nature.


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forest villas / W residence

The W couple who live in Tokyo wanted to “find a new life style in the nature” and built a lodge-like wooden structured one-story weekend home in Karuizawa, and expressed the world of the architect Alvar Aalto. The architects Norio Yokota and Noriko Kawamura planned the main building in the deepest northern corner of the land, as the land was a triangle, and long on the north and south side. The trees are dramatically lit up in the approach. As the width of the land was short on the north side, they tried to make many openings on the south side, and as a result, the house became a striking shape, threading through the trees. The roof has big eaves which lowered the building height, kept the volume of the building down, and added warmth to the building by using the solid pine on the bottom of the eaves.
What was most difficult was the division of the space. To create a beautifully balanced hipped roof over the curvy building, the size of the space needed to have regularity. On the south side, a living room, dining room and bureau were planned, and on the north side, a compact-sized bedroom and bathroom were planned. “To maximize the living and dining rooms within the limited space of a 1-story building, other spaces needed to be planned in minimal space,” says Mr. Yokota. The curving shape also plays a role in gently dividing the interior space. Many wood materials were used for the interior finish imaging the lodge. The furniture is totally coordinated and centered around the Nordic design furniture. The windows created on all south sides invite ample nature into the house.
The house is equipped with a wooden stove and thermal storage heater below the floor to live comfortably all year around, since the couple visits almost every weekend. This lodge-like house that merges with the nature became a space for this family to build a strong bond together.


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Brush up bathroom

The bathroom is the most difficult space to do maintenance and also the space most people want to to renovate. Normally, a bathroom is created in the conventional method of construction, or by using a pre-made unit bath. The former method consists of waterproofing, plastering, tile work, and plumbing, each done by workmen on site. This method directly waterproofs the structure of the building. The latter method only requires on-site set up (by creating a box of panels in the housing structure) of the walls, floor and ceiling panels that were made previously at a factory. This method lacks variation in materials and has less degree of design freedom. Therefore, order unit bath are attracting more attention. The usage of panels and the set up is same as the unit bath, but size, shape and window positions can be designed in any way. Also, tile, wood, and stone of your choice can be placed on the panels, and faucets can be selected to create the same finish as the conventional method.
Waterproofing needs the most attention when renovating bathrooms. In apartments, water leakage causes great damage to the apartment below. In some apartments, conventional method construction is not allowed, as the guarantee is different per contractor and there are possibilities of waterproofing layer fissures due to earthquakes or deterioration in general. On the other hand, factory made unit bath is a method of creating a box within the building, which shakes little during an earthquake. There are fewer possibilities of fissure or breakage, and even if this does happen, there is a manufacturer guarantee in many cases.
What decides the planning the most is the pipe space, as bathrooms need to drain a lot of water at one time, so a bigger pipe is needed than in a kitchen. It is possible to position the bathroom close to the window for a view, but if that position is far from the pipe space, the floor needs to be raised for the plumbing and the danger of leakage rises as the pipes become longer.
Renovating houses offers more freedom in planning than apartments; if the bath is planned on the 2nd level or higher, however, it is recommended to select order unit bath or system bath to avoid leakage to the floor below. Also, if a house is constructed with wood, it is necessary to calculate the weight, especially, if the wooden constructed house is over 20 to 30 years old. There are many cases where the structure is damaged due to moisture or termites which also lessens its resistance to earthquakes. To live safely and comfortably, it is recommended to check the structure at the time of renovation.


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tips of UTILITY SPACE

Utility is a functional space where housework can be done smoothly. It is a “backstage” space, but it plays an important role in doing housework efficiently. Because its role relates closely to household circulation and space, utility spaces are totally different depending on the lifestyle of each family.
Of the 158 houses we introduced in the magazine, only 34% had a utility space. Particularly in Japan where space is limited, not many houses have a utility, and the bathroom serves as the place to undress and wash clothes. In this issue, we would like to analyze utility spaces, concentrating on the time-consuming task of laundry (undress, washing, drying, folding, stowing away ).
In Europe, many houses have utility space downstairs where the facilities are. In America, the pantry, kitchen and utility are laid out close to the garage, minimizing the household circulation. This relates deeply to the American lifestyle of separating private and public spaces. Japan, full of water resources, washed clothes in the rivers for a long time. Thus, it was common to place the washing machine outside the house, and the optimal position of the utility is still not certain, mainly because the washing machine specs and water resources deeply affects planning. The drum type washing machine can be positioned under the bathroom counter, but most of the Japanese washing machines are the lateral type where the doors open toward the ceiling. Also, eccentricities of Japanese laundry style (such as using the water from the bathtub and drying clothes outside) makes the housework circulation difficult and planning needs to be done more carefully than in Europe or America. In this issue, the merits and demerits of the utility position is analyzed. It is important to find the utility layout that fits your lifestyle. Utility spaces make the house beautiful, and by making the spaces comfortable, housework will not become a big stress.

About 2012年03月

2012年03月にブログ「I'm home (NEWS / ENGLISH)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーです。新しい順に並んでいます。

前のアーカイブは2011年12月です。

次のアーカイブは2012年05月です。

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