R Torso C: Japanese Minimalist Home Built Out of Volcanic Ash
Natural disasters are setbacks in life that are inevitable. Due to its destructive tendencies, a volcanic eruption is one of the natural disasters that are hard to cope up with. But who would have thought that these destructive after-effects can be made into something innovating?
A group of Japanese Architects called Atelier Tekuto successfully made a home out of volcanic ash. These volcanic ashes are turned into recyclable material called Shirasu. Instead of sand, Shirasu is composed of a deposit of the pyroclastic flow- a natural resource found in abundance in the south of Japan’s Kyushu island.
R · torso · C is a minimalist residence in Tokyo. Situating a site area of 711sq ft, the home extends vertically to be able to maximize the space while having a triangular window opening serving as a skylight. Looking to have an exposed concrete for both interior and exterior, the house aimed to utilize natural materials and the natural environment as basic design approach.
The architectural structure of the residential area in Tokyo is actually to build towards the “sky”. R · torso · C directions with a true feeling of the vastness of nature.
To form a strong connection with the sky, the corner of a rectangular building was pruned away at an angle. This action, cutting away the internal volume, paradoxically creates a sense of spaciousness in the continuous four-story space inside. To secure a comfortable interior climate, a “thermal circulation system” was incorporated in collaboration with an environmental engineer.
One of the advantages of using Shirasu concrete is its increased strength and durability over a long period of time due to its pozzolanic reaction.
The aim of the project is to craft solutions that will alleviate challenges in living at urban places.
The family house is a transition from the planimetric cognition to the cross-sectional cogitation. For architecture on a small site, sectional and volumetric design becomes very important. A high-level sound-insulated audiovisual room in the basement, and a spacious gallery and a Japanese room is placed on the first floor.
Functionality was prioritized on the second floor with a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. The living room is a very small space, but a 5m high ceiling and a large oblique triangular window, drawing in an abundance of external light, results in a cognition of spaciousness that is far greater than the reality.
“The living room is a very small space, but a 5-meter-high ceiling and a large oblique triangular window drawing in an abundance of external light results in cognition that is far greater than the reality,” said the architects.
Natural disasters can be devasting but at the same time we can always bounce back out of it like this concrete home. The R · torso · C project is the perfect example that there is beauty even in the ruins.
Are you feeling that inner Zen in you and itching to renovate your place based on these Japanese concrete home? Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) is eager to help you discuss your Japanese style interior design cravings. Conveniently located in the leading business district in Metro Manila, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.
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