It’s only two years ago since the young Japanese architect Bunzo Ogawa founded his FUTURE STUDIO in Hiroshima. One of his first projects ‘Wrap House’ – a rather sculptural single family residence – is remarkable for its smart fusion of the open roof and the cut facade which results in an intimate shielded patio.
“‘WRAP HOUSE’ is grouping and wrapping the three elements sunlight, spacious sense and privacy to enrich the living space.
The site is located in a flat residential quarter in the Southwest of Hiroshima City. As the site is from all sides surrounded by houses, one of which is directly bordering the site boundary, it was necessary to come up with the following architectural arrangement.
To create a bright and wide space while protecting one’s privacy despite the site’s restrictions, a wall wraps around the full site creating a ‘void’ on the north side while respecting the permitted floor area ratio. The north orientated living space is extended by a terrace, which is located adjacent to the parking space while facing the street to the north. In addition, considering the natural sunlight conditions for the neighboring house to the west, a pitched roof was chosen and a v-shaped wall is surrounding the ‘void’ on the east side. As a result, sunlight shines into the void in the morning and a ‘sunlight well’ is created. The collected sunlight is reflected by a white wall, and illuminates the room gently. In the early morning, sunlight enters the void from the east. As the sun rises further it shines through the upper window, and when the sun begins to decline light falls through the skylights.”
“Thus, as the way the light enters constantly changes from sunrise to sunset, the space changes with the flow of time. When the night comes, the diagonally cut wall appears while the scenery around it disappears. A space different to the daytime emerges.
The external void space is perceived as an extension of the internal space, while the wrap-around wall is both protecting the privacy of the residence space against the surroundings and creating a spacious impression. The sky can be seen from the bathroom on first floor, while the car can be overlooked from the master bedroom.
The entrance for both residents and car is facing the road to the north and is formed by a part of the wall which can be opened and shut providing access to the void space. The sky framed by a diagonal wall extends to the top and an ash tree with a height of 6m penetrates the second floor terrace. This north side buffer zone, although not included in the legal building footprint, plays a role in maximizing the site’s potential.
“WRAP HOUSE” with its north facing void is a proposal of a new architectural style resulting from restrictions.”