SHIKOKU – Hiroshima-based Hayato Komatsu Architects designed an original single family house, nestled in Matsuyama’s peaceful suburbs on the Japanese island of Shikoku.

On the eastern side of Komatsu’s residence, houses were carefully lined up along the road in order to maintain appreciable and consistent front yard setbacks.

As the client requested, the architect strove to fully exploit the conspicuous qualities of an extensive south-facing garden while opening up to wider design strategies that support and animate meaningful social interactions.

Because the plot has inconvenient dimensions, Komatsu ruled out the possibilities of creating an inner courtyard. Instead, he consented a portion of the house’s roof to pitch inward in order for each and every room to benefit from a southern exposure to natural daylight.

However, the inverted steep slope had the downside of diminishing the exterior views from the living areas. To overcome this issue, the roof was built in tiers and then generously planted.

Both concrete and wooden components were incorporated in the house’s structural system. Concrete elements were used to provide sufficient support above wide openings and anticipate uniformly distributed loads from the roof garden. Commonly used in residential constructions, a wood roof trusses system allows for considerable spans and thus offers great flexibility when laying out the floor plans.

Photos Toshiyuki Yano