Concrete home uses mesh walls to connect with nature
Photo courtesy of Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects
A concrete home on Japan’s Okinawa Island uses concrete to protect against and capitalize on nature.
Using a passive design, Ma of Wind by Japanese firm Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects attempts to bring outdoor elements into the interior as much as possible, reports Inhabitat.
Using the island’s traditional vernacular for inspiration, the architects say that the design concept was “characterized by a respect towards the natural environment, and maintaining harmony between man and nature.”
The structure is made out of a reinforced concrete shell chosen for its resilience against typhoons, a fairly common occurrence in the area. Additionally, the home uses several passive design features to cool the interior during the hot and humid summer months.
Open walls on either side of the home open the space to optimal ventilation and natural lighting of the interior. Extra-large eaves were placed over the terraces to provide additional shade during the summer months.
Perhaps the home’s most striking feature is its steel mesh facade. The architects hung two mesh walls on the north and south facades and will serve as trellises for climbing plants over the years, providing a natural shade system for the building. During the winter when some of the plants lose their leaves, daylight will stream through the interior.
The architects based the interior layout on that of traditional Japanese homes. An open living space and kitchen make up the heart of the house, which is flanked by large terraces on either side. Bedrooms are laid out perpendicular to the main living area and have sliding glass doors that open up the rooms to the exterior.
The home creates as much of a connection with the island’s natural climate as possible.
“Sun, wind, water, and the unique climatic features of Okinawa Island together modeled the design as a space exposed to the prevailing winds, looking to south and north for enhancing natural ventilation,” the architects said.