Japanese firm Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects has unveiled a beautiful round home that is wrapped in a spiraling rooftop garden. The family home, which is located on a remote Japanese island, was built out of woven bamboo lattice and clad with earthen walls. To create a strong connection between the home and nature, a spiraling garden that rises from the ground level provides optimal growing conditions for fresh vegetables and herbs that the family can enjoy year-round.
Located on the remote island of Awaji, the home was built for a family of four. The architects designed it with an eye to withstandi the temperate climate on the island, but they also drew inspiration from the family’s nature-conscious lifestyle. Their first objective was to create a fertile area that could help feed the family year-round. Secondly, the master plan called for creating a closed-cycle landscape to make the home self-sufficient, enabling the family to live in harmony with the environment for years to come.
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The architects began by creating a large circular frame out of woven bamboo lattice. They then clad the round form with Sanwa Earth finish. On the interior, they used a technique called Tataki to create a hard-packed earthen floor out of dirt, lime and water.
The walls were also made out of packed earth. The combination of earthen walls and flooring provides a tight thermal envelope for the home. In winter, the walls and floors absorb heat, which is released at night, keeping the living space warm. In the hot summer months, the home’s stack effect layout (a height difference between the central space and the rest of the home) enables optimal air circulation to cool the interior.
Inspired by the family’s eco-conscious lifestyle, the architects wanted to incorporate greenery into the already eco-friendly home design. Accordingly, the roof was turned into a spiral garden whose shape provides optimal growing conditions. Rising up from the ground level, the rooftop garden wraps around the home, providing a perfect blend of sun exposure and humidity to grow a variety of plants and vegetables. Rainwater soaks the top part of the garden, then flows downwards to a series of retaining ponds filled with aquatic plants.
Photography by Kaori Ichikawa via Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects