Rooftecture S

a modest 50 square meters (541 square feet), Rooftecture S over looks the Inland Sea in the town of Shioya Tarumi-ku Kobe, Hyogo-Pref., Japan. Built in 2005, this residence was designed by Shuhei Endo, and incorporates an interesting geometry that utilizes the distinct advantage of its unique site located on a steep hillside. It is built slightly in front of a stone retaining wall and runs along a width ranging from approximately 13 feet to a mere 5 feet.

Like many Japanese residences, Rooftecture S takes maximum advantage of the limited space available; however unlike many Japanese residences it does so on the side of a slope. The residential zone was developed in tiered platforms in such away that the plot is in the form of an elongated triangle. The house addresses the common problem of slope many people face in the field of architecture by taking advantage of the retaining wall as a special element rather then solely a structural system since it defines a space at the back of the house. The angles of the house’s outside face find roots in the idea of slope as well.

Unlike typical American homes, Japanese houses are much more limited with the space they can occupy and so they must make better use of the space they do have. However, even though Japanese architecture is more space efficient than American architecture, the modern styles are in fact similar. Both cultures are in a period where architects call upon clean cut lines, although sometimes culture plays an important role in developing a similar theme. For example, the Japanese are a more modest than their American counterparts and therefore do not seem to have the large open windows commonly found in American homes.

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