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.
ABC Center House in Kanagawa, Japan by Kakuro Odagi + Daisuke Narushima
April 26th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Kakuro Odagi + Daisuke Narushima
ABC CENTER HOUSE is an administrative building in a model-home park located in the inhospitable area with factories and industrial plants in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture. This two-storied building is used as an office where customers first come to get information and where various events and seminars related to homebuying take place. In general, the model homes are remodeled almost every 5 years in an attempt to promote their own merchantability and are equipped with the latest technology and specifications.
The relationship with the surrounding environment and other neighboring model homes are ignored, and as a result, self-contained houses based merely on commercial value are standing independently on the park. It is ironic that every design of the house, consisting of factitious and mass-produced materials that would appeal to the dream of the buyer, all look much the same and has no distinctive qualities at all.
In response to this context, we intended to create a place where visitors can experience the openness of the space and its value. The architecture may be seen to be fitting into the day dream-like landscape at a glance, however, it is free from the model-home park’s merchantability.
A large shed roof with randomly-placed top lights covers the three parts of the building: the lounge connected contiguously to the terrace, the seminar room that looks like it has its interior and exterior reversed, and the semi-outdoor terrace under the eaves. It makes a gentle unity of the three spaces while maintaining each spatial identity. The terrace also serves as an intermediate space between the outside park and interior.
In contrast to most model homes where the building products pretend to be the surface of real materials, the real materials are applied in a graphical way in this building as if they look like the imitated materials. This finishing gives a coordinated impression, seen from a distance, with the surrounding model homes in appearance of materials, while its actual contrary state can be seen from close by.
Every material, whether it is for interior or exterior, is treated equivalently and mapped across the boundary of the adjacent room. The crossover of surface elements generates a relationship between the inside and outside space of the architecture itself and the one between architecture and landscape. Thus the outward extending space can be felt wherever you are: expansive space is created within a small building.