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Pergola House in Toin, Japan by Takayuki Kuzushima and Associates

A veranda that highlight the four courtyards along a meandering road-shaped room.

Architects: Takayuki Kuzushima and Associates
Area: 112 m²
Year: 2020
Photographs: Takayuki Kuzushima, Shinkenchiku-sha
Manufacturers: LIXIL
Lead Architect: Takayuki Kuzushima
Structural Design: Komatsu Structural Design, Hirotoshi Komatsu
City: Toin
Country: Japan

Countryside diversity and modernity

The concept of the countryside first appeared in contrast when the concept of the city was created. The boundary is not clear, but the countryside can be thought of as an extension outside the city. Sites in cities are being attempted to be structured according to system and industrial principles, but in the countryside there are many vague places that deviate from them.

In the countryside, it seems commonplace to seek an individual and concrete way of architecture that is completely different from the strong structure of the city.
The planned site of this house is a calm place with a view of the Suzuka Mountains in the distance and fields surrounding it.

The road in front is a gentle slope, and there are cluster of enoki mushrooms on the premises. The owner runs a dental clinic next to the north and wanted a plan for the entire site including this house.

This house built along the deformed site boundary almost as it was. There are no walls or fences. There is a height difference of 1 m or more at the planned site, but it was not created and was taken into the room as a ramp. The plan along the boundary of the site, a floor with a height difference, and a roof that descends parallel to the ground.

We replaced the characteristic environment with the individuality of the architecture. The plan took the form of a courthouse, with rooms arranged in various orientations. With a plan using a direct grid, it is difficult to secure an indoor area, and the amount of excavation on the ground increases, making it difficult to cope with deformed sites and slopes.

Therefore, instead of using a grid, contour lines were used as auxiliary lines, and the building was bent along the site. The beams were laid out radially around each of the four courtyards, and they were continuous along a meandering road-shaped room.

A promenade was planned on the western site, which cannot be built. The site, which had been abandoned for a while, can now be used not only as a vast backyard for the owner’s family and parent households living in the main building, but also as a garden for patients visiting the dental clinic.

We are reminded of the possibility of architectural creation in the countryside in the current situation where houses will be dispersed toward the suburbs, avoiding excessive congestion in the city.

It’s not just about being safe against viruses and changing the way we work with technology. This is because finding each particularity in the endless expanse outside the city seems to be a manifestation of modern values that seek diversity.