HOKKAIDO HOUSE

A house for enjoying the harsh cold through experiencing the different phases of water


A COMPETITION ENTRY FOR THE 5TH LIXIL INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURAL COMPETITION. IN COLLABORATION WITH JAKOB SELLAOUI, JOSEPH LIPPE & SARA HAYASHI

JANUARY - MARCH 2015

THEME. Winter is, in many places, the harshest and most difficult season to endure. The severity of the freezing cold and the troubles associated with snow result in a variety of behaviors unique to the places like Hokkaido, where people attempt to turn these problems into something positive. The changing of seasons leads to natural phenomena that occur according to the changing phases of water. By observing these natural phenomena, we can also find the behaviors of water, ice and snow and in how people treat them. This house captures these unique winter behaviors, collecting them under one big roof. Enjoying these behaviors and activities becomes a way for enjoying the harsh cold. BEHAVIORS. We are interested in how coldness physically manifests itself in the behaviors of water and humans. The house consists of several activities relating to the changing phases of water, from solidifying into snow and ice to evaporating in clouds of steam.
> SLEDDING. As snow covers the landscape, so too is the big roof covered, transforming into a big sledding hill. One can climb the roof, view the amazing landscape and slide into the snow.
> ICICLES. Typically seen as the dangerous result of melting ice, icicles can also become complex and beautiful formations. Sun hitting the roof and the warmth of the space inside melt the snow, creating a beautiful foreground to a wintry landscape.
> BATHING. Nothing heats the naked body better than being submerged into hot water. After hours of sledding on the roof, visitors can relax in the bath. The contrast from freezing cold to extremely hot can only truly be experienced in winter.
> PECHKA. Our house borrows from the traditional Russian oven known as the “pechka.” Heat from the fire can be used for cooking and boiling water, as well as providing a warm platform for sleeping on.

ROOF. Conceptually, the house consists of a massive roof in which a variety of behaviors exist. Already one meter thick, the roof’s massiveness is added to by layers of accumulated snow. Nearly touching the ground, the roof can then become a large sledding hill, for children of all ages to enjoy the snow.
> STRAWS. Inspired by ancient Japanese pit-dwellings, the massive roof is constructed of millions of straws. Instead of the traditional natural straws, however, this roof is made of extra-long plastic drinking straws, which have the unique ability to utilize the viscosity of water to prevent it from penetrating into the house.
> ROOF SPACES. It is within this roof that the behaviors around water and snow are inhabited. These spaces, embedded within the straws themselves, create opportunities for people to enjoy the behaviors around water and snow, and thus are able to enjoy the harsh cold.

 

 

 

arrival

Arrival to the house. The roof structure is covered by the massive roof of straws

 

isometry

Isometric drawing

 

sleighing

The roof is used for sleighing and experiencing water as snow.

 

icicle

The dormer spaces are used for experiencing snow when it partly melts into icicles.

 

bath

The central bath spaces is used for experiencing water as steam.

 

plan

Plan, ground floor / In the center of the inner space is a huge fireplace. Besides heating the room, this pechka is also used for cooking, sleeping, and for heating water for the bath.

 

plan

Plan, top floor / The top floor is the space for a big bathtub orientated towards the wintry scenery to the south.

 

section

Section / The front of the house is used as a winter garden, creating a micro climate between inside and outside. As snow covers the house, the backside of the roof is turned into a giant slide.

 

section

Section / This space punches through the massive roof creating a small space with a window. As this part of the roof is warmer, it allows snow to melt and solidify into icicles.

 

modelphoto

Model photos / To test the proporties of the straw roof, we built a 1:5 scale model using 500 mm translucent drinking straws.

 

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