S House Renovation / Yasuhiro Sawa Design Office
Text description provided by the architects. This is a two-storey reinforced concrete house renovation project in a city located in the central-western part of Kyoto Prefecture. It is a building resembling a terraced house with 15 identical facades of buildings constructed by a development project decades ago. The 15 buildings face the road on the north and south sides.
The north side of the buildings is an open road with heavy traffic and is used for stores as a shopping street. The south side of the building is a road with a sense of privacy, lined with residential entrances. The client’s family will be living in an unfamiliar location, so we needed a plan that would allow them to live in a positive and pleasant environment.
As the owner is a designer, his office is located on the north side of the building and the north side of the first floor is open to the city. The south side of the building had a dated facade, both good and bad, and the interior layout of the building could be imagined from the facade, giving it an older look. Therefore, we followed the mall design code on the north side of the building, and on the south side, we were aware of the gap between the building and its environment.
For the first floor, we laid out the necessary rooms (positive) with the unnamed rooms (negative) in mind, and adjusted the balance of negatives and positives by planning for a geometric shape rather than a simple rectangle. In general, walls that face the outside air are called exterior walls, and those that don’t are called interior walls. In this case, all the walls have been positioned as exterior walls.
The second floor was designed in the same way, with the children’s room as the “positive” and the rest of the living room as the “negative”. The public character of the shopping street on the north side of the building is linked to the (negatives) of each floor, and I believe that this closed but open space has created a positive way of life.