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.
::photographs by Kouichi Torimura::
::images, info + quoted text courtesy of EASTERN design office, Inc::
Artist NOSIGNER has teamed with Tokushima Wood & Bamboo Industrial Cooperative Society Confederation to create a new wood furniture brand named ‘AWA’. Three of these new pieces were recently unveiled at DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2009, and are featured here.
When Tokushima was once called the country of Awa, the tradition of wood furniture was initiated by ship builders. Thus, AWA decided to go back to its Tokushima woodworking roots to form this new and yet traditional project to bring Japan’s wood working culture into the future.
I think the dopeness of the projects speaks for itself – nothing like some Japanese minimalism and beautiful wood to create an awesome project. Here’s some info from NOSIGNER:
Cartesia stands for the “Cartesian coordinate system”, that is translated into a structure of drawers that have the capacity to open in two directions. This special quality makes it especially suitable for room corners. The new type of system that can open the different cases at the same time,?is a fundamental shift from the traditional modus operandi. The characteristic form of Cartesia, an inverted trapezium, is related on a rationally based design that implies handles.
Imaginary is a table that refers to the mathematical term of “imaginary number”. It includes an invisible drawer that allows to hide our cutlery and documents.
UNIT is a series of interior, that is made of the same specification. Combine the chair and the law table. They transform into a bench. Confine the stool and the chair. They become a low table. This series is a flexible interior solution that can be used in numerous ways.
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.