We set out to interpret traditional gabled roofs, the cornerstone of Kyoto's townscape ordinance, within the framework of modern dwellings. As Laugier's “Primitive Hut”, gabled roofs hold a sort of fundamental appeal. However, we felt there was a problem in their strong axiality, and the fact that sunlight in the house is unevenly distributed. Additionally, we also saw an issue in dealing with the gable's outward thrust.
As such, we took a long gabled roof spanning a deep plot of land and divided it into four parts. We shifted the position of the four square houses, starting from the one closest to the road, rotated them and changed their heights. By doing so we created a sheltered space between buildings, while weakening the house's axis line. The center of the house is a one-story kitchen-dining area angled at 30 degrees. From this area one can look into each of the rooms on the first and second floors of the two adjoining wings. A surprising sense of open space is generated by the discontinuous sequence of rooms with varying roof heights and tilts which are built from a combination of twisted single-and double layered volumes.
The house uses wooden panel structure, but we made it possible to place a large transparent opening in the garden-facing wall by having the roof beam of the single story structure to act as a brace. In this way, by bringing together different constructional components at boundary divisions and squaring the roof's joist with the gradient，we have changed the historically meaningful gable shape into a structure which does not generate thrust. The shifting and layering of the gabled roof created a space where sunlight-filled active areas overlap with secluded areas for curling up with a book. This project attempted to create deep relationships between each room; between the rooms and the garden; and between both of these spaces and the street.
Kentaro Takeguchi + Asako Yamamoto