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.
Yashiki Mori in Tomisato-Shi, Japan by HOLDUP Architecture
May 31st, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: HOLDUP
‘ Owing To Progress In Transportation And Communication, Any Place Can Be Considered “Central”, Even Though Geographically Remote. There’s No Choice To Make Between A Stimulating City Lifestyle And A Healthier One In The Countryside: We Can Have Both! ’
In the past decades, transportation and communication technologies came to conquer wider territories, in parallel of a global city sprawl effect. Consequently, places that were actually remote are now physically and virtually connected, in a local, national or even international scale. As a result, we observed the birth of a hybrid “rurban” land, resulting from the progressive braiding of rural and urban areas. This evolution eventually generated new prospects coming with a fresh economy, original social relations and uncommon lifestyles. This phenomenon marks the advent of a new era where city and country aren’t necessarily antinomic, but are progressively merging.
‘ As City Sprawl And Quick Renewal Generate Uncertainty In Suburban Areas, New Developments Cannot Rely On Their Surroundings. Although A Distance Might Be Kept To Preserve Privacy And Intimacy, We Can Find Openness In Traditional Hamlet Typologies.’
The lack of structure and quality of suburban spaces makes it definitely difficult to rely on surroundings to build a project. Japanese houses are quite often turned inward to avoid embarrassing views or even to cope with possible disturbances from the outside (shadow, noise, view, access). For other reasons, Yashiki-rin typologies, found in the Japanese countryside, were elaborated as a protection from environmental aggressions: windbreak forest (hot summer wind, cold winter wind, sandblast), barrier against fire, sunshade, air-purifier (carbon dioxide absorber and oxygen provider), sound-proof shield, etc. Meanwhile, this natural eco-system composed of hedges and high trees circling the house could preserve wildlife, supply bamboo or lumber as construction material, fuel or fertilizer. It perfectly fits today’s concerns, i.e. keeping some distance with the surroundings but preserving openness at the same time. Indeed, the house mainly seem enclosed from the outside. From the inside, the house is like settled in a forest clearing, taking advantage of a view, wide sun exposure, fresh air and quietness.
‘ More Than A Technological Matter, Ecology Or Sustainability Mostly Depend On Behavior. The Relationship Between The Inside And The Outside Of Old-Fashioned Constructions, Progressively Melting Depending On Depth, Is Still Very Topical To Solve Environmental Issues.’
Smarter behavior being always the source of change, eco-friendly technologies aren’t considered as a prior to shape the house, but lifestyle survey and volumes arrangement will be. With a dense core on the inside, optimized and condensed to fit all the main rooms without comprising any circulation, the house is naturally energy-efficient: only spaces where people stay are fully insulated, heated or cooled. Serving spaces, placed like a loop climbing around the structure, are simply protected from climate: no energy will be wasted where people only pass very briefly. This double-skin system is a natural device which increases the house passivity and impact on its environment on every aspect, to “synchronize” the house with the weather. Winds are directed for natural ventilation, which is equivalent to a primary layer of aerial insulation. Sun exposure (light and heat) is filtered depending on the season, with high and bright summer rays blocked, low and soft summer rays allowed. Rain is repelled on the sides, but collected on the rooftop for domestic use (plants, garden, washing machine, car wash, toilets, etc.).
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