The B House

The B House in Shimisaki, Kyushu Island, Japan was designed by Nishiyama Architects in conjunction with Anderson Architects. This house is situated on a hillside overlooking Kumamoto, Japan and has a modern and sustainable design that incorporates elements of traditional Japanese architecture.

Like the houses in ancient Japan and many of the modern Japanese houses, the B house only has necessary spaces. The 1100 sq. ft., two bedroom, one bath house was designed for two school teachers. The simple plan includes a large, open room for dining and living, a small, elongated kitchen and an entry way and uses sliding screens between rooms. The house was designed with clean, simple lines and the decoration inside the house is also very clean and simple. All of this was designed and built for US$154,000, an extremely modest budget for the area. This simple, minimalistic way of living identifies with traditional Japanese ideals and is prevailing in modern Japanese homes.

Another way the house associates with traditional Japanese ideals is through connecting with nature and utilizing sustainable design. The house is oriented south with large, south facing windows, in order to best capture the view of Kumamoto castle, local orange groves, and surrounding hills and to allow for passive solar heating of the concrete floor slabs. The locally and sustainably harvested timber that makes up much of the house also connects it with the surrounding environment. The section of pitched roof on the house has south-facing photovoltaic panels that provide the house with hot water. This slanted roof also allows for natural day lighting without summer heat gain and a natural ventilation draft throughout the home. The roof also has a water catchment system to allow for a future green roof. Overall, the B House typifies Japanese sustainable design in the modern world.

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