Masahiro Ikeda & Kei’ichie Irie

Y House, Aichi, 2003-2005

This project is the fruit of collaboration between Masahiro Ikeda and architect Kei’Ichi Irie’s firm, Power Unit Studio. Built in a private residential compound in a wooded park on the outskirts of Nagoya, a city in the center of the Japan and the Aichi prefecture, the Y House is presented as an alternative to the banality of suburban architecture, which, according to Irie, so marks suburban landscapes. The “Y House,” in a reference to its owners’ name, Yasukita, is placed on the side of the hill, on a sharply sloping lot. Only part of the parcel was leveled to give the house the necessary foundation to be able to support the cantilever above the slope. The slope of the roof, the ceilings and part of the flooring follow the slope of the terrain, creating a space whose vanishing point is located at the back of the building. The walls of the cantilever are also oblique, in opposition to the orthogonality of neighboring constructions. At the street level, the entry opens onto the first bedroom and a stairway serving the living room, which is the main room, laid out lengthwise and cantilevered. Organized from one end to the other are the bathroom and the kitchen, while on the lower floor, practically buried in the ground, another bedroom also constitutes the foundations of the house. A demonstration of genuine technical prowess, the house was built in reinforced concrete with a thickness of only fifteen centimeters. Its front and the back, freed of any structural role, have been left open. In front, the windows are translucent, allowing light to filter in while also isolating it from the urban landscape. Only one opening offers a view onto the city. At the back, wide bays enclosed in transparent glass section the view onto the wooded landscape.

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