The site is located on the hillside of a small mountain overlooking the city. It is bound by two roads on the east and west side with a level difference of 16m between the two sides. In this ar-ea, from the east which is the higher part of the mountain to the west, are a retaining wall and a front road, followed by a slope covered with trees, another retaining wall and a road at the foot of it.
▼住宅外观远景，位于树木茂密的山坡之上，distant exterior view of the house that is located on the hillside of a small mountain covered with trees
When observing the houses built on this mountain, I noticed that there were generally two types of building methods. One was to provide artificial soil and build a typical house on top of it, and the other was to build a basement level by digging the slope. Both are convincing methods to deal with the slope, but I wanted to propose a way of living where one can feel closer to the slope and the trees that grow in the area.
▼住宅外观近景，close exterior view of the house
▼住宅剖透视图，建筑基础分为三层，perspective section of the house whose tiered foundation is composed of three steps
For this reason, I decided to design the “House on a Tiered Foundation” which has a sectional form of a tiered doll stand for Hina dolls that follows the sloped surface and a foundation shallow enough so as not to disturb the flow of the subsoil water.
This tiered foundation is composed of three steps that step down 80cm each following the sur-face of the slope from east to west. The second floor which has much of its functions including bathrooms projects out 1.8m each on both the east and west side and functions as an intermediate space that ties the indoor and outdoor together.
▼住宅外观近景，住宅的二层在形体上在东西两侧各向外挑出1.8米，close exterior view of the house, the second floor projects out 1.8m each on both the east and west sides
▼住宅外观局部，悬挑下方的区域作为过渡空间将室内外环境联系在了一起，partial exterior view of the house, the area under the overhang functions as an intermediate space that ties the indoor and outdoor together
▼住宅入口，位于东侧最高的建筑基础平台上，the entrance of the house that is located at the highest step on the east side
▼从住宅的过渡空间看向室内，建筑基础平台向建筑内部延伸，viewing the interior space from the intermediate space, the step is extended inward towards the house
The highest step on the east side acts as a buffer space between the house and the road, and also becomes an entrance porch and a porte cochere. In addition, this step is extended 90cm inward towards the house to provide a kitchen counter at the same level as the road, study desk for children and a landing for the stairs leading up to the second floor. By offering this step and direction for living, I wanted to create an apt relationship where glances from neighbors walking on the front road will not be confronted nor shut out.
▼一层空间室内，道路平台在室内演化成了一个与道路平面同高的厨房台面和楼梯休息平台，interior view of the first floor, the step extended inward provides a kitchen counter at the same level as the road and a landing for the stairs
▼一层空间室内局部，partial interior view of the first floor
Facing the intermediate space, wooden fittings that can be drawn into the walls were installed. On the east side is a 3.6m by 2.2m opening and on the west side is a 5.4m by 3.0m opening.
▼一层空间室内，采用木框架立面，interior view of the first floor with wooden fittings
The step on the west side acts as a terrace that cantilevers out as if to dive into the trees, creat-ing a place where one can feel pleasant sunlight and breeze coming through the trees.
▼西侧看似悬挑的生活露台，the step on the west side acts as a terrace that cantilevers out
The “House on a Tiered Foundation” where the interior, intermediate space, tiered steps, slope and trees are combined as a whole by steps, pilotis and wooden fittings, becomes a topography rather than a residence, and the residents will live in this terrain.
▼通向二层的楼梯，the stairs leading up to the second floor
▼二层空间局部，采用木地板和木构件，partial interior view of the second floor with wooden floor and components
▼二层卧室空间，the bedroom on the second floor
▼住宅夜景，night view of the house
Project name: Three-tiered Platforms
Architecture Firm: ihrmk / Masaki + Kayo IHARA
Completion Year: 2017
Gross Built Area: 115.10sqm
Project location: Nisshin, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Lead Architects: Masaki + Kayo IHARA
Engineering: Hirotoshi KOMATSU (structural engineer)
Photo credits: Kenya Chiba