‘Atelier in Ushimado’ follows Tezuka Architects and their client Mr A on an almost obsessive quest for absolute minimalism. It is essentially a vast internal space with three parallel walls dividing a small portion of it to form a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. However these walls don’t span the entire width of the volume, and the resulting utility spaces are sheltered but not entirely enclosed so as not to spoil the view.
Ushimado is famed for its charred Japanese cedar, and Tezuka’s Atelier fits with the historical vernacular by incorporating this blackened timber cladding on all exterior surfaces. Lightly burning the wood protects it against rot, rain and fire, and gives it a violet tint as well as a textured surface.
Unfortunately the landscaping was obviously not completed at the time these photographs were taken, but this perhaps allows us to better appreciate the finely tuned architecture, and the views of Ushimado. The client was in the process of building stone walls along the length of the hill in order to create terraced fields which will no doubt compliment the rectilinear structure perfectly.
“Please make spaces with good proportions,” was the initial request. Being told this is beneficial for the architect. However, it is somehow difficult. Putting in the effort to make good proportions is a matter of course for an architect, and so having it emphasized now puts us on edge.
Mr. A’s former profession involved instigating large art-related projects. He is no ordinary person. He is also on a university arts faculty. It feels a bit like a famous food expert sitting and scowling in front of the counter, saying to the sushi chef, “please prepare well-balanced, utterly delicious tuna.”Tezuka Architects
Read more of this text by Tezuka Architects on ‘Atelier in Ushimado’ over at Architecture News Plus.
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