A projects for a rental villa in Hayama-cho along the Pacific coast.In front of the villa is the immense ocean, with a distant view of Mt.Fuji beyond the horizon seen on a clear day. In the back lie the mountains of Miura peninsula. The site is positioned right on the topographic border between the sea and mountains – a typical Hayama landscape. I felt an uneasiness about the universal/urban scent emitted by the geometry – Cartesian coordinate system – generally used in architectural design, inside such rich natural environment.
As an alternative geometry basis, I opted for a polar coordinate system, defining space in terms of distance and angle from a center. It seemed to me that the polar coordinate system, which gives decripition of position within a relationship between entities independently from panoramic viewpoints, would be ‘better off’ in an environment like this one.
A sequence of three circumscribing circles with different radius makes up a system of reference lines that is seemingly random in structure but rational in terms of structure/existence. Boomerang-shaped ‘column-beam’ parts made of die-cut steel plate 9 mm thick are rotated and reproduced along the reference lines, forming a tree structure. They are interconnected to create a strong framework of successive arches. Finally to shape the architecture, three layers of such framework are then trimmed to the extent of ensuring necessary floor area.
The building has a face of a ultra-thin Gothic architecture, abstracted/simplified to 9 mm thick. It is also suggestive of a crystallized aggregation of a forest. Maybe a structurally/existentially rational building is infinitely close to nature. ‘Blending of nature and architecture’ – one of the ideas of Gothic, as I recall.Location: Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan Architect: Mount Fuji Architects Studio | Masahiro Harada + Mao Project name: Gothic on the shore Function: Villa Site area:456.84m2 Building area:118.80m2 Total floor area:496.82m2 Number of stories:4 Building height:9m Structural system: steel frame, reinforced concrete Major materials: concrete, glass, exterior; fabric, stone, painted steel, interior Structure.jpg :by Jun Sato Structural Engineers