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no.52 アーカイブ

2011年05月20日

Nature Weekend

N residence
The N residence is situated in a spectacular location, surrounded by mountains and the scenery of the sea of Sagami rchitect Mario Shimodaira utilized the 700㎡ sloping land and its surrounding environment and planned a basement + 2-story building based on the owner’s lifestyle. The entrance and a Jacuzzi with a view of the ocean were placed on the 1st floor. The dining room and kitchen were placed next to the living room, positioned where the best view can be enjoyed, and the guest rooms and bedrooms were positioned to the back of the home on the 2nd floor. On both floors, large terraces were placed facing the ocean. The terrace on the 1st floor is a space to enjoy outdoor activities, with an outdoor kitchen and direct access to the Jacuzzi. In contrast, the terrace on the 2nd floor next to the living room is a place to rest quietly on the daybeds, and is functionally separated from the 1st floor outdoor living terrace. To maximize the opening to the ocean, the 1st floor structure is concrete and the 2nd floor structure is steel. The exposed steel columns produce a dramatic structural beauty with the combination of wood. The details were designed carefully, and with the usage of mosaic tiles and bricks, the architect successfully created a house of timeless comfort.

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H Residence
The owner who lives in central Tokyo, dreamed of having a weekend house for enjoying climbing and tennis. He finally found a 1000m2 plot of land in Karuizawa, Nagano, where he often visited seasonally. Architects Norio Yokota and Noriko Kawamura were appointed to design a house that appreciates the surrounding nature. The two designed a W13.5m×D6.3m×H5m oblong wooden-structured building on the gentle south slope. The north and west sides face the road and are surrounded by larches with a few branches on the bottom. Thus, the foyer, artier, main bedroom and bathroom were positioned on the 1st floor, considering the view from the surroundings; the 2nd floor contains the kitchen & dining rooms, living room, and guest room. Respecting the owner’s request to enjoy the natural feeling of light and wind, the black wooden lateral grid windows were used as a fa?ade. These lateral grid windows creating gradation, frame the scenery and create an impressive fa?ade. The rooms are positioned in a “U”shape, surrounding the light court situated in the center of the building. The 3 glass walls facing the light court make it possible to enjoy the scenery everywhere and allows the lights to shine all the way through the house. Because Karuizawa becomes very cold in the winter, heat storage systems using night electricity (which is more inexpensive than day electricity) were placed on both floors, to keep the temperature comfortable throughout the season. The heat that is released throughout the day is gathered below the floor, and the whole house is warmed evenly from the floor. The sense of seasonal changes can be fully enjoyed, and time passes comfortably in this house.

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Trend in Europe

Germany and Italy are strong in their kitchen industries and both European countries have numerous kitchen brands. Italy is known for its design and Germany known for its function. Every 2 years, Euro Cucina is held along with Milano Salone. This fair, presenting the newest Italian kitchens, was held in 2010. The trend has shifted from minimal to decorative kitchens. Layout wise, open and island-style kitchens are still popular, but there were changes in the details. The material has changed from polished paint to matte paint, and the design has changed from simple and flat to decorative, with carvings, stiles and dots. The strong wood grains like zebra wood and cheek are now gone, and natural light-colored wood and echo wood materials are more trendy. Kitchens are evidently changing. On the other hand, many well-known big brands like Poggenpohl and Miele were presented in the 2011 Living Kitchen held in Cologne, a commercial city of Germany. What caught the attention of people was the primitive impression of the wood. The light-colored oak wood was overwhelmingly popular and drastic designs like using wood un-peeled as the countertop were presented. Due to the depletion of materials, the attitude of design has shifted from choosing the material to match the design, to designing to match the material.

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Kitchen destinations

Since the kitchen is a space full of pipes and appliances, such as gas, water and electricity, renovations cost more than expected despite the space being limited. Starting with the investigation of the existing conditions, it is best to have detailed drawings or service drawings to confirm the position of the current pipes. If there are no drawings, it is necessary to measure the exact current position of the pipes, but it is risky, because if you want to change your plans, something unexpected might turn up after tearing down the space. When the plan is decided, the next steps are the estimate and contract. A detailed plan is needed to create the estimate. The construction starts from demolition→repair→plumbing / gas / electrical construction→facilitation→furnishing→floor / wall / ceiling construction→finishing. The construction takes a week to 10 days normally, but only1-2 days, if it is only changing the appliances.
There are 3 ways to create an ideal kitchen within a limited budget: the first way is to utilize the existing kitchen. A totally new image of the kitchen can be created ; changing the worktop or covering existing doors with sheets, or reusing the existing built-in appliances / range hood in their current position are all good options. But in some cases, additional costs may be incurred to match the existing and new kitchen finishing. The second way to create an ideal kitchen is to use an IKEA kitchen. IKEA has a construction service, which costs about 100,000 yen (depending on the location and existing condition). The third way is to use a stainless frame kitchen. In contrast to IKEA’s furniture-like kitchen, this style keeps the minimal function within the simple frame and leaves the joy to build the shelves and storages according to usage. A ready-made 1.8m wide stainless kitchen costs about 330,000 yen. Creating an attractive kitchen that suits one’s lifestyle will enhance the joy of everyday life.


M Residence
The M residence stands on a 6m X 17m 107.28m2 piece of slender land of a highly populated area in Tokyo. This reinforced structural building is 4 stories, with 2 floors below ground and 2 floors above ground. There is a music studio on basement 2, a Tatami guest room on basement 1, an entrance on the 1st floor, a living and dining kitchen on the mezzanine, and bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The floors are skip-leveled from basement 2 to the mezzanine. The center of the house, living and dining kitchen are one open space, gently separated by 4 steps. The living room facing the two-story window is a relaxing multi-purpose space; the dining kitchen with its 3m large table is where families and friends gather.
The 4m wide ceiling-height shelf situated between the kitchen and dining area hides the structural column. Because the kitchen of the owner’s previous house was closed, and an open kitchen was requested, there was a plan to reveal the column and connect the kitchen and the dining room. However, with the advice of architect Taro Ashihara, who suggested that the kitchen should have some hidden areas, the owner decided to have the shelf between the rooms. The doors of the shelf open to the kitchen side, and the back facing the dining area is covered with colored glass and is used as a giant white or black board. The L-shaped counter was designed originally on the kitchen wall for the wife who holds cooking classes. The desk that extends from this counter is used flexibly as the PC desk for the wife or the study area for the children. The house is left with many possibilities for the couple, and reflects the lifestyle of the family at each stage.

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O residence
The O residence is located in a quiet residential area of Tokyo. The couple asked architect Andrea Hikone to design their house on a rectangular-shaped area of land measuring 200m2. The architect created a two-story wood structured split-level house, naturally connecting the spaces on this land with vertical intervals. The first floor centers around the dining kitchen with a 5m void, with the living room on the south side half a level above, and the husband's artier half a level below. There is a storage room and a bathroom on the north side behind the stairs. The main bedroom is positioned on the second floor. The greenish blue window frame has become an accent in the white space and camellia and sasanqua replanted from their grandparents? house are blossoming in the garden. The dining kitchen has a top light which allows bright light to shine into the space. The kitchen uses a flat steel stone for the floor to create a DOMA like feeling. The raw concrete island counter has a great presence in the space. It is possible to go around the ceiling height storage on the north side, which stores the refrigerator and oven, to the bathroom behind the staircase. Many storages have been planned in this house, like the storage below the counter and the shelves using the whole eastern wall. The glass used for owner's wife's grandparents house was used for the door, which became the accent of the space. As a result, a functional, well-designed dining kitchen was created while keeping the memories of the grandparents alive.

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About no.52

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