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Location: Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Footprint: 1,313 square feet
Photographer: Tsujita Shinya
From the Architect: "This area is part of Biwa-ko, which is the largest lake in Japan. It was once buried in order to build a rice field after World War II, and more recently it became a residential area. This means there is always natural and artificial movement. It has been attacked by floods time and again after being buried, but the memory of this is forgotten because the technology of flood control has improved and many new residences have been built. However, there is a possibility that this area will flood again because of global warming. The other possibility is that the area will be covered with reeds if the population continues to decrease and Lake Biwa-ko’s water level lowers. We can’t anticipate the future of this site.
"In response, I designed this house being conscious of two elements: flooding and reeds. The second level includes living, dining, and kitchen, as well as a bedroom, bathroom, and inner terrace. The level is supported by diagonal and vertical wood. This structure is light and melted into the reeds. The level of the floor avoids flooding. Additionally, it is kept from the strong moisture of this area. The atmosphere is a little closed from the outside but warm. It has the feel of an ancient warehouse.
"The ground floor consists of the piloti and the room like a globe house mainly. The piloti is wide and high enough to make a bonfire. The globe house room is bright and open to the outside in order to grow plants. This means the two floors have very different images and atmospheres. The materials of this house are mainly Japanese cedar and cypress that were gathered around Biwa-ko area, although it’s not easy to control and unify the texture of these to consume locally. I hope that although the land is changing, this house will be steady and floating in the reeds of water like a boat."
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