The Naked House, located in Kawagoe, Japan, designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban provides shelter for a family with five members, including two children and the owner’s elderly mother. The owner wanted a house that “provides the least privacy so that the family members are not secluded from one another, a house that gives everyone the freedom to have individual activities in a shared atmosphere, in the middle of a unified family.”
Naked House by Shigeru Ban Technical Information
- Architects: Shigeru Ban
- Typology: Private Residences
- Location: Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan
- Material: Steel
- Evocative topics: Envelope, Light, Hub
- Area: 195 sq.m. / 2100 sq.ft.
- Project year: 2000
- Photographs: © Hiroyuki Hirai / © Courtesy of Shigeru Ban
- Sources: Case Study
This house is, indeed, a result of my vision of enjoyable and flexible living, which evolved from the client’s own vision toward a living and a family life.
– Shigeru Ban
Naked House Photographs | Shigeru Ban Architects
TEXT BY SHIGERU BAN ARCHITECTS
Having met the client only once, I was again considering what to do about the project of this house, when the client sent me a facsimile making precise requests. What he wanted was described as a house that “provides the least privacy so that the family members are not secluded from one another, a house that gives everyone the freedom to have individual activities in a shared atmosphere, in the middle of a unified family.” After reading his fax, I knew that I should take up this challenge.
The site of the house sits by a river and is surrounded by fields with greenhouses here and there. The external walls made of two sheets of corrugated fiber-reinforced plastics and the inner walls made of nylon fabric are both mounted on wooden stud frames and sit in parallel. In between are attached clear plastic bags, carefully stuffed with strings of foamed polyethylene for insulation purposes. Through these bags, a soft, diffused light fills in the interior of the house.
The house consists of one unique ample space of two-story-high in which four private rooms on casters can be moved freely. To reduce weight and optimize mobility, these rooms are not very large and hold a minimum of belongings and fittings. They can be moved according to the needs of their use. Placed against the walls of the house, in front of the heating or air-conditioning units, warm air or a cooling breeze can flow into it. They can also be put side by side and create a larger room when their sliding doors are removed. They can be taken outside, on the terrace, for the full use of the space inside. They can also work as a supplementary floor for the children to play on top.
This house is, indeed, a result of my vision of enjoyable and flexible living, which evolved from the client’s vision toward living and family life.