Machida House

Machida House

This is a private house built on sloping land surrounded by nature next to the Hinatami River, which stretches along the Shima Spring Resort, which is one of Gunma Prefecture’s representative spring resorts. We designed a single-story wooden house with a long and narrow plane surface corresponding to the configuration of the lot sandwiched between the Hinatami River and the park.

The lot was very damp all of the time because of the large amount of groundwater running under the ground from the back slope to the Hinatami River. Taking the sloping land into account, the lot could not be said to be located in an environment suitable for living. So, we constructed a two-meter high foundation with a concrete slab above it stretching in four directions on the slope, and planned to construct a building measuring 23.6 meters by 4.6 meters on the top of this foundation. We completed a comfortable living space away from the humidity by maintaining an adequate distance from the slope.

The building has a long gable roof with galvalume standing seam metal eaves above the exterior walls covered with cedar board sidings. Because the building stands away from the ground, and the eaves stretch from the building, the building is protected from the buildup of snow in the winter.

The Floor Plan is very simple because various rooms are laid in parallel along a narrow corridor. Half of the ceiling inside on the Hinatami River side is finished in the same way as the interior wall, whereas the ceiling on the park side has a wooden frame structure serving as a spatial accent. A fixed window is provided at the end of the corridor on the riverside in the corner of the Living/Dining Area so that a view of the lush natural surroundings lit by the morning sunlight can be enjoyed.

The building is on stilts with a two-meter high foundation; however, earth is laid around the building in tune with the configuration of the existing slope so that the stilt house can reflect the configuration of the existing slope. As a result, while the building appears to be sticking into the slope on the Hinatami River side, it also gives an impression of floating a little above the ground surface on the park side.

Though the building has an ordinary outer configuration, it neither stands out of the surrounding environment nor simply blends with the surrounding environment because it has been separated from the ground. We have explored the form of an ambiguous building that is both dynamic and static, and has a sense of both deja vu and of jamais vu.