Passage of Landscape by ihrmk

This single-family residence by ihrmk has an envelope that mimics the motion of Japan's terraced rice fields.

TOYOTA – ‘Tanada’ refers to the terraced rice fields so iconic to Japan’s rural topography. Just as they inspired the tranquil lines of Hiroshige’s prints, so they have emerged in the design of native atelier ihrmk’s single-family residence in the hills of Toyota. Citing Kazuhiro Kojima as an influence, founder and architect Masaki Ihara has entitled the house Passage of Landscape with the intention for it to ‘participate in the flow of the surrounding natural environment’.

The motion of the tanada may already be apparent in the staggered geometry of the house’s envelope, which is then rotated in the alternation of shuttering and glazing along the east face. However, this image has also been employed in deeper aspects of the construction. The shape of the structure consists not of one irregular mould, but two stacked, perpendicular series of telescoping, gate-shaped frames. Interlocking these frames creates partitions for the house’s interior, with plaster volumes interspersed into the plan for storage and private spaces. The tapered heights of the lower frames open the ground floor to the first floor, while those of the upper frames open the interior space to the outdoors. The resulting atmosphere is reduced to two main ‘passages’ – the lower half from north to south, the upper from east to west.

As the direction of the wind during the summer in this region is almost always north or south, the lower passage captures a cooling breeze which is admitted by full-length sash panels lining the ground level of the main façade.

Photos Hiroshi Ueda

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