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Japan’s Otake House Showcases Sleek Passive Solar Design
This sleek modern hilltop residence was designed by Japan-based architecture firm Suppose Design Office to make optimal use of passive solar building principles. Every aspect of the residence’s innovative design has been carefully considered to make the best use of available sunlight and natural ventilation, demonstrating how efficient building practices can inform and give shape to elegant modern architecture.
Located in the Western region of Hiroshima in Otake, Japan, on a high plateau overlooking both industrial and mountainous areas, the Otake House is a living paradigm for the binaries present within nature. By purposely orienting the residence’s various facades Suppose Design Office was able to insure prime exposure to the sun’s direct rays on the Eastern and Western facades. This enabled them to meet the requirements for passive solar design while providing breathtaking views of the landscape from the North and South.
The first floor of the North side of the house is comprised of the load bearing parts of the structure, including the kitchen and dining area. On the North side, the architects placed expansive glass windows supported with roof overhangs that allow for natural ventilation and daylight to seep inside. The South side contains a living area and outdoor terrace with a six-meter eave that is pure in form and function, forging a separation between the indoor and outdoor environments.
While the Otake House varies in its design from side to side, it is united throughout by green design. In addition to the passive solar building elements that reduce the Otake House‘s requirement for active heating and cooling systems, the architects also implemented of a water-proofed material commonly used in ship construction as the skin of the building. Continuously wrapping from the outside to the inside of the house without the use of sealants or tiling, the building becomes a monolithic volume made up of voids of light and space.
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