The site is placed on the crest of Hakone´s mountain range along the Odawara plain. Its sunny rolling hillside was once planted with fruit trees. On the south side you have a clear view of the distant Sagami Bay. At the north of the site, a mountain gives shelter from the north wind. Deciduous broad-leaved trees cast soothing shadow during summer, while in winter they shed their leaves and allow weak sunlight to warm up the moisted mountain soil. It was the perfect living environment, quietly waiting to be found.
My mission as an architect is to draw out the land’s latent “habitability”, to adjust and amplify it, so that it provides just enough for a man to live. In short, we aimed at constructing an architecture entirely organized by the land. The resolution was therefore to reduce the designing steps and leave only fundamental constructive factors, setting frames and building a roof, and then to “listen to the land” and make a decision.
Two sets of portal frames (about 12m in length) are combined with an angle to fit the slight curve of the place and to form a rack assembly with truss structure at the center. The material used as frame is laminated veneer lumber (38 x 286mm). The thin structure is being achieved by efficiently distributing horizontal forces on weak axes to the back core through a ridge-jointed truss underneath the ceiling. The cross points in the middle part prevents a deflection of the 6-meter-long beams.
The beams slant in a northward direction to support the roof that has enough pitch to handle the rainy weather and differentiate the ceiling height. Together with the tilted ground, this gives the spatial “variation” that complex life requires.
The features of this site (geomorphic characteristics, amount of rain) add a special “geometry” to this architecture. It determines the structure and the resulting dwelling space and brings harmony among them.
If you, as the origin of the word indicates, decide the order of an architecture (=geometry) by taking a close survey (=metria) of the land (=geo), the consequent architecture will have a clear order while retaining the continuity of the land.