House of 33 Years

A single family house by Japanese architects Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama has been realized in three different places involving a design school and an art centre. 

Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama of the architecture firm Assistant are pleased to announce the completion of House of 33 Years after five years since the project's inception.
The House of 33 Years is a residence located next to the world heritage Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan. The house was designed for an elderly couple who decided to move to a new house thirty three years after living in their first house.
House of 33 years
Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant, House of 33 Years, 2013, Nara, Japan. Photo Shinkenchiku-sha.
The House of 33 Years is a house for a collector who collects memories, whose memory and future exist simultaneously in the same space. By framing views across different areas, images are continuously produced by the inhabitants' movement. Every image is given its own space of possibility, then overlaps as multiple additions to the home to update the family’s memories.
House of 33 years
Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant, House of 33 Years, 2013, Nara, Japan. Photo Tadasu Yamamoto

In 2012, during the construction process, the fabrication of the house was partly supported by Aomori Contemporary Art Centre and Sendai School of Design. Its design/fabrication process has been an academic research subject of Adaptable Futures, Loughborough University, UK. The house has been awarded SD Review prize in 2010.

The house consists of multiple pavilions and rooms in wood structure that stand under the big steel-frame house. The relationship between the single elements defines the character of the house as a whole.

House of 33 Years
Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant, House of 33 Years, 2013, Nara, Japan. Photo Tadasu Yamamoto
The construction process has been pursued in three separate locations simultaneously: Nara, Sendai, and Aomori. In Nara, the exterior steel roof that covers the whole residence has been constructed on-site. Then, having accepted offers by two public institutions Sendai School of Design and Aomori Contemporary Art Centre to participate in their artist-in-residence programs, the duo decided to build a new experience by linking the two institutions through a single residential housing project, to eventually build the house in Nara.
House of 33 Years
Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant, House of 33 Years, 2013, Nara, Japan. Photo Shinkenchiku-sha

They divided the House of 33 Years, which had been designed as a single house, into parts suitable to be made in the two programs.

Each work has been realized as an individual installation piece on which additional features were elaborated, responding to demands from the institution, characteristics of the space, and the chosen method of exhibiting.

House of 33 Years
Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant, House of 33 Years, 2013, Nara, Japan. Photo Tadasu Yamamoto
In Sendai, Ghost House, a pavilion built to sit on the roof has been constructed with the students of Sendai School of Design. The pavilion is an homage to Ghost House, one of the pavilions scattered on the large premises of the famous house of Philip Johnson and was given the same name. Over the summer it was sitting in the courtyard of a university campus and the students had grown a farm inside.
House of 33 Years
Ghost House. Photo Megumi Matsubara
In Aomori, the main rooms in wood-structure was built and developed together with local carpenters, using materials available in Aomori, as an installation piece (Obscure Architecture ), then to become a part of ‘Kime to Kehai’ exhibition at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. This work always had a fresh look depending on the movement of the sunlight. Physically, this architectural work remained present in the same position, whereas the natural phenomena created by it kept flowing without stopping. After the exhibition period in each city, those elements were disassembled and loaded on a 4-ton truck, and carried to the destination, Nara, where they were recomposed to form the House of 33 Years.
House of 33 Years
Ghost House. Photo Sendai School of Design


House of 33 Years

Nara, Japan
Architects: Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama / Assistant
Structural engineer: Mitsuda Structural Consultants
Client: Private
Purpose: Private residence
Site area: 189 sqm
Building area: 76 sqm
Total floor area: 104 sqm
Structure: Steel frame, Wooden
Number of storeys: 2 storeys
Construction period: March 2011 –  June 2013
Photo: Shinkenchiku-sha, Tadasu Yamamoto, Sendai School of Design, Megumi Matsubara, Assistant

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