- Miyahara Architect Office -
House Nw -five levels on a small plot of land, achieving different degrees of communication

House_Nw is a reinforced concrete residence that stands on a very small plot of land of just 43 m2 and has five levels within its structure. It was designed to establish various communication levels for each area of the house, aiming to provide a better experience for the individual, among family members, and with the local community.

While modern Japan places more emphasis on the concept of respecting the individual and communities are on the decline, I believe it is necessary to have some sort of means within individual sites to try to stop total disintegration and to reconstruct the unity of local neighbourhoods. House_Nwfs first and second levels are designed so that they can be used as a point of contact with the local community (as it is closest to the outside world): the music room on the first level and library space on the second can also serve as rooms to receive visitors. The third level provides a bedroom and bathroom, and the fourth serves as the main room for the family. From the glass door on the fourth level, floating perforated metal stairs lead up to a fifth level with a Japanese tea room. So, guests to the house first enter the music room and library, and if permitted access, they can proceed to the family main room, and only the closest family guests are invited up to the tea room. The residents are able to adjust the degree of communication they desire by choosing spaces according to the guest, making it easier to enjoy livelier communication in more relaxed conditions.
Furthermore, each space is designed with various materials according to its purpose and the clientfs requests, but all of the elements are tied in together through the use of minimum detail in order to maintain a comprehensive balance for the residence as a whole.

Meanwhile, the exterior walls are bare concrete coated with black lean-mix acrylic paint to enjoy the random mottled effect resulting from the texture of the surface. This and the steel fixed sash windows painted in black give House_Nw its striking exterior. Furthermore, the coat of paint continues onto the gable roof slanting at 45 degrees, contributing to the sense of continuity from the walls to the roof.
In the daytime, House_Nw enjoys a beautiful black exterior, but at night, the seven fixed windows facing the front road provide seven warm shades of essentially Japanese colors through pleated screens made of coloured Japanese paper and wooden blinds as the house lights shine out towards the neighbourhood. The visual effect is an emotional experience that will remain in the onlookerfs mind.

*The materials including the beautifully grained horse-chestnut front door, Japanese cherry birch and chestnut flooring, bare concrete precast resembling cedar boards, bright yellow walls and ceilings, clear paint with pine black ink, and honeycomb structure fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) for the music room door and library space floor are also major elements that help define the identity of House_Nw.