This project by Alphaville is a 100m2 residence for a couple and their cats in Osaka, Japan. The typical method for designing a house would be to assign rectilinear rooms with specific functions and lay them out accordingly. Such a design produces a series of rooms of similar size and causes monotonous spatial experiences. Alphaville's approach was to avoid conventional design practice and to create a structurally rational but spatially heterogeneous house.
Proceeding from a premise that people could reside within optimal spatial coordinates, Alphaville's design incorporated Voronoi line segments that divide equally the shortest distance to create spaces. A trial-and-error phase involved the full use of 3D-CAD. First, the building's form was squashed into a parallelogram in order to create a distance from the site's borders. Second, the center wall was folded to divide the space into two, diagonal to the site on the first floor and parallel to the site on the third floor. The final step was to slope the roof; in this way, one experiences progressions through variable spaces moving along the bent wall (by way of folding the diagram).
The slits on the east elevation that run from the first to the third floor introduce direct light into the space, reflecting the folded wall beautifully through the highly rational structure with minimum wall support. At the same time, a slit on the west elevation coaxes indirect light through the openings from behind the folded wall. Therefore while the room along the folded wall is an interior space filled with direct light, it also has an outdoor-like feeling facing folded walls with shining openings reflected by indirect light.
Alphaville conceived an ideal for habitation in a medium-density city, where residences are connected along contiguous exterior walls, loosely relating people, architecture, and nature, unlike in a city where each building is confined to its own specific site. In that sense, this single-family house can serve as a model that is applicable to larger buildings such as collective housings, offices, or multi-use complexes in rational and versatile ways.
Site area: 75.93
Building area: 40.00
Total floor area: 102.03m2
Bilding scale: 3 stories
Structure system: reinforced concrete construction
Structural engineer: Eisuke Mitsuda (Mitsuda Structural Consultants)