KAWAGOE 2017 Residence_Kawagoe_Saitama

Use :
Size :
150 ㎡
Type :
New construction
architect / contractor / construction manager / artisan

Excellent qualities of wood, plaster, and roofing tiles

Among various building materials having been used since ancient times in Japan, wood, plaster, and roof tiles, are particularly important elements constituting the beauty of streetscapes in Japan, in addition to serving as functional materials.

It is interesting to design architecture from materials

Among various building materials, stone, earth, and wood have been used since the earliest time in all parts of the world. Methods of using these materials vary in each place.
It is considered that Western architecture is made of stone and Eastern architecture is made of wood. While these are general tendencies, such a clear distinction between stone and wood cannot be applied to traditional architecture in China or Northern Europe. This is probably influenced by essential characteristics of the materials and also the ideological backgrounds. It can be explained by common notions that stone symbolizes infinity and eternity while wood symbolizes finity and life.

Selection of building materials may be influenced by the specific culture of the place, but the basic factor is the availability of each material and the related construction technique in the place. Because buildings are the largest objects humans make, and also because they make so many buldings, this tendency is especially evident.

When we imagine earth, magma is generated at the core which is covered with stone or rock layers; the surface of stone or rock layers is covered with the earth; and many trees grow on it. People continue to cut, carry, connect these three materials to build architecture, which is an unchanged construction scene in human civilization.
By using "magical" tools, namely fire and water, possibilities of these materials expand infinitely. Modern building materials including steel, cement, and glass cannot be realized without these wonderful tools.

I am discussing this matter because speculation on building materials is profoundly related to speculation on the essence of architecture. Architecture without a physical sense of materiality and deep insights somehow lacks strength and impact.

Materials such as wood, plaster, and roofing tiles were used at this house in Kawagoe. These materials have been used in traditional Japanese architecture for a long time. At a glance, it looks like a generic house one can find anywhere in Japan, because of the simple floor plan and exterior appearance. Looking closely, however, one can see that the house is constructed using elaborate techniques with careful considerations in order to bringing out the beauty of the materials.

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