House in Eba
A "connecting yard" that integrates architecture with the surrounding environment
This is the residence of a designer located in Hiroshima City. In addition to its irregular shape, the site mostly stands in the shadow of the retaining wall and the tunnel running through Mt. Eba in front of it. Although the site was somewhat unwieldy and looked a little out of place amid its surroundings, the expanse of lush greenery that is almost unimaginable for an urban area lined with houses and buildings was highly captivating. Our goal was to integrate the architecture, the surrounding environment, and the courtyard into a coherent whole by not only incorporating views of the distant landscape that can be enjoyed from inside the building but also superimposing the background with the foreground that we have created. When assessing the suitability of the first floor as the primary living area for this site, we noticed that the retaining wall in front of the building would likely disrupt the continuity between the architecture and the greenery. We then measured the height of the retaining wall and found that panoramic views of the lush greenery could be enjoyed from approximately 4m above ground level. This prompted us to designate the second floor as the primary living area instead and create a semi-outdoor zone filled with plants along the boundary between the inside and the outside, which we have called the "connecting yard." This connecting yard was set up at a height of around 4m above ground level, thus creating a horizontal overlap with the distant landscape while giving depth to the visual perception of the surroundings. In addition, we extended the floor towards the southeast to create a flying geese pattern, which allows the sunlight filtering in and the line of sight from neighboring areas to be finely calibrated. The connecting yard has also become part of the exterior, breathing new life into the existing urban landscape through the superposition of architecture and the background in the distance.