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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Nowhere but Sajima in Yokosuka Kanagawa, Japan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

February 11th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Cutting resort environment out of urban environment

Nowhere resort is the resort program that is renting out weekly vacation house. Suggesting new urban life style by making shorten the distance to weekend house from standard 3 hours up to 1 hour. The environment must get close to urban when shorten the distance, the issue comes to how to cut off resort environment out of there. Therefore Nowhere but Sajima comes to build long and thin tube-like spaces that bundle them into one home unit. The tube-like spaces are facing toward the ocean and at the same time intercept the sight from the next condominium. The building is controlling both privacy and scenery.

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

  • Architect: Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects
  • Name of Project: Nowhere but Sajima
  • Location: Yokosuka Kanagawa, Japan
  • Principal Use: House
  • Completion: Jun/2010
  • Photographer: Yasutaka Yoshimura and Chiaki Yasukawa

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

  • Structure: RC 3 stories
  • Site Area: 132.09 sq.m
  • Building Area: 63.88 sq.m
  • Total Floor Area: 176.65 sq.m
  • Max Height: 9,459 mm
  • Structural Engineer: Akira Suzuki/ASA
  • Services: EOS+
  • Electric Services: Comodo
  • General Contractor: Heisei Construction

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

A home for guests

Nowhere but Sajima provides a temporary ‘home’ for its guests. The weekly rental service provided by Nowhere Resort is a relatively new method of operating resort properties in Japan, and allows different tenants the opportunity to inhabit a ‘home’ on a weekly basis. While the weekly term is short compared to a standard monthly rental and long compared to a hotel stay, this in-between length accommodates a new diversity of uses of a ‘home’. Serving as a space for exhibitions, as a classroom or for wedding parties, the unit easily adapts to the imagination and invention of the tenant and in doing so also re-defines the range of activities that can take place in the ‘home’. As well as accommodating the functions of work and business, the ‘home’ again becomes the space of many life events beside the basic function of ‘inhabitance’. In acquiring a new program for use, the ‘home’ regains the richness of activity that can take place all around of life.

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

The building, a triangular block composed of tube-like volumes heading to the ocean, stands on a point of reclaimed land in a small fishing village. While the site meets the seawall and directly faces the sea, it is also faces other buildings across the water. To provide adequate privacy without the use of curtains, narrow tube-shaped spaces were bundled together and angled to provide openings toward the sea. The orientation of these tubes naturally blocks the line of sight from the adjacent apartments and while gazing down the length of the tube from inside only the ocean can be seen. While providing an escape from the tide of urbanism characterizing what we normally call a ‘resort’, the design still maintains the key aspects of the resort experience. We have created a place reminiscent of looking out to sea from the deck of a ship.

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

Soil Stability and Triangle

In order to avoid putting any load on the existing seawall while elongating the ocean-facing side of the building, it was necessary to shift the center of gravity away from the seawall by using a triangular plan.

Fire spread prevention

The dimension and shape of each tube was determined not only by its effectiveness as a picture-frame, but also by the dimension of the glass. We comprehensively looked at determining the dimensions by the limit required of mullionfree glass of a reasonable thickness, the dimensions required of special fire-resistant glass, building regulations, cost and fabrication method; after which, we made individual decisions for each aperture.

Images Courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura

Images Courtesy Right and Left: Yasutaka Yoshimura, Middle: Chiaki Yasukawa

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