Archive for the ‘courtyard’ tag

NotM EASTERN design: Slit House


Designed by AMNP’s current ‘Ninja(s) of the Month‘, EASTERN design office, the Slit House is a 210 square meter reinforced concrete home in Japan. Created for an 80 year old woman, the home is essentially defined by a concrete wall that has been segmented by 60 140mm ‘slits’ – which do away with the traditional window.


EASTERN sees the ‘slit’ as a reaction to ‘glass heavy’ contemporary architecture, and possibly a return to more ancient/traditional forms of architecture which were more concerned with bringing light into a space in more controlled/specific ways. Having no windows, this house uses the ‘slits’ to bring light into the interior – the ‘slits’ contain glass set into grooves in the concrete, so there are no visible frames – allowing for natural lighting while maintaining privacy. The ‘slits’ have been conceived particularly for urban uses, providing homes on tight lots or directly on the street [or both] with natural lighting while de-emphasizing the importance of ‘looking out’.


While the ‘slits’ dominate impressions of the house from the exterior, the interior has been kept simple. Wooden walls have bee used throughout, allowing for the space to be reorganized over time – as either uses or occupant(s) change over time. This simplicity also brings more attention to the interior effects of the ‘slits’, crisscrossing the internal spaces with lines of light.


This spacing of he concrete panels also turns the home into one giant timepiece, to some extent – tracking light and shadows throughout the day.

At the dawn, watery light comes into the house through the slits. That makes the entire room bright faintly.

At 9:30AM,sequence of the feeble light that reflects to header of slits appears.

At 10:30AM, the sunlight pierces through angled slits at first. At 11:00AM,the sunlight pierces through all slits. The sunlight through the slit and the reflected light on the header of the slit project the stripe of V type to the long corridor. If you saw the repetition of this edgy light, you might feel as if time of 11:00AM has stopped. In as much as ten minutes, the reflected light on the header disappears. The shape of the light that the slit makes changes from V type into one stripe. The moments that the sun pierces through the angled slits and through the straight slits are different.

The angled slits get a little earlier. The momentary time lag let us feel a running of the sun and makes us forefeel the upcoming time of the dusk. And it shortens little by little. And watery light fills the house again with soft brightness.

Then the night comes before long.






Next we’ll be back with the next installment of this current ‘Ninja(s) of the Month’ feature – Horizontal House.

.:previous firm profile of EASTERN design office->

::photographs by Kouichi Torimura::

::images, info + quoted text courtesy of EASTERN design office, Inc::

Posted: November 10th, 2009
at 8:18am by orangemenace

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: architecture,housing,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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Cheungvogl : 2 Houses, Tokyo


Calm, but not sterile.
Humble, and yet unexpected.
Economical, nothing extravagant.
Open space with flexible floor plans and a space to contemplate.

These were the requirements as described by the client for this project – a Japanese-German couple which plans on living in one of the units and selling the other. I would add ‘sexy as hell’ and ‘siiick’…


This ‘2 Houses’ project was designed by the Hong Kong based Cheungvogl Architects + Designers for a site in Tokyo – and it’s pretty stunning. Iconographic forms and simple materials [concrete and aged timber] create ‘twin’ houses – each protected from the street by a concrete wall that runs the perimeter of the site. Entering either unit, the spaces are lit with skylights – and from individual courtyard spaces that run the length of the site.


This play on public vs private, making the units completely self-contained and closed off from the street, is quite dramatic – creating what I would imagine to be a quiet, private refuge.


The two houses, standing side by side, related and yet separated. Its outline traces back years of history within the context. Simple detailing, rough concrete and aged timber are elements that tie the two houses together. Within them, store calmness.

Inside the house, the connection to the outside is reduced down to two linear courtyards. Framing ‘the tree’ standing on a sheet of white gravel, absence from the city’s influence, quietly documenting time. Contrary to the ground floor, the pitched roof is a small space enclosing the stair leading to an undefined open room – the roof itself. Three meter above ground, the city skyline seems almost tangible. Looking back, ‘the tree’ is standing still.







Those of you who read the site regularly won’t need me to go into how geeked I am off of these renderings – but I do have tosay that they’re feckin’ DOPE, and you should head over to Cheungvogl’s website for larger versions. Also, the subtle slideshow method they use to show the images is quite nice, and shouldn’t be slept-on. Enjoy.

.:images via->

Posted: October 23rd, 2009
at 10:44am by orangemenace

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Categories: architecture,housing

Comments: 3 comments

Brick Studio, by Cassion Castle Architects


Designed for a product designer in East London, the Brick Studio – design by Cassion Castle Architects – looks to employ what Cassion Castle calls “stealth tactics” to create an anonymous exterior that blends with the brickwork of the street. To achieve this goal, the form of the building has been kept simple and matching brick will be used in the construction of the facades. This, however, is where the similarities with the surroundings end.

Rather than have the interior of the studio occupy the entire lot, Cassion Castle has created an entry courtyard behind the ‘front’ facade. This facade is then made porous by intentionally leaving gaps in the brickwork – which will create some interesting light/shadows in the courtyard by day, and will glow from the inside – out at night.


“We liked the idea of it being almost stealthy in its presence on the street. Its a strong structural form but also almost an extension of the surrounding fabric. Its something you’d only notice as you walked past.

You go through the front door and you’re not actually inside. On a very small site to do that seems a bit nuts but it helps you to ventilate the lower floors and it means that the rooms can operate independently.”

~ Cassion Castle, via bd online


The studio space itself is then stack alongside the courtyard, allowing for natural ventilation and light penetration into the space – the floors of the studio are to be a steel grating to maximize natural lighting, and probably create some lighting/shadow effects similar to those of the brick facade. Lastly, the 3� floors are accessed via an external staircase, located in the courtyard space – allowing for additional interaction with the perforated brick wall while moving vertically.


.:info + images via -> Cassion Castle Architects

Posted: August 20th, 2009
at 12:07pm by orangemenace

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Categories: architecture,green arch,interiors

Comments: 2 comments