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Yamazaki Kentaro Unfinished House

"Unfinished House," designed by Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop for a Kashiwa-based married couple and their children, was conceived as a flexible framework to accommodate the needs of a young family. The project, a primarily timber-structure clad in corrugated steel, is constituted by a double-height atrium encircled by five rectangular volumes. These volumes, divided between the two levels, contain a majority of the house's residential functions and remain open to the central atrium, ensuring that it operates as a stage for family life.

The rectangular volumes are formed from 91-cm modules and are constructed from standard-size timber, 10.5cm square columns and 15cm beams. Contained on the ground level are a kitchen, washroom, workspace, and bedroom. The first floor was left intentionally unplanned, to accommodate wardrobes, a study, future hobbies, and additional bedrooms. These volumes were rotated in plan to frame, in the interstitial gaps between them, the project’s external landscaping and fragments of its neighborhood.

The areas of the volumes were predetermined by the minimum sizes required for the functions on the ground level. This logic became a tool that allowed the client to playfully arrange the plan while considering distance and programmatic adjacencies, as well as the aforementioned view-framing. The form of the central atrium was thus generated as a byproduct of these exercises.

Assembled in its entirety, the centripetal house models an experiment in free-placement and indeterminacy and is the result of an extended period of communication between the architect and the growing family.