The first house was built following a competition organized by a magazine which eventually introduced the famous architect, Tadao Ando to the client. A decisive factor in the project was the Hanshin earthquake which caused terrible devastation in the area. An unusual position, on a narrow and chaotic strip of land very close to the epicenter of the earthquake of 17 August 1995. The owner willing to follow his architect's idea, allowed Ando to convert the site into an innovative house, recalling silently the great earthquake.
Once construction was complete, another client asked Tadao Ando for a similar house on a piece of land nearby. With this commission, the architect was able to complete his original idea of two houses, even if without the communication between them that he had imagined, but using different materials, reinforced concrete for the first and wood for the second.
Tadao Ando uses geometric bases for his projects: squares, circles, triangles and rectangles. Always try to achieve balance between the building and the natural environment.
It is really important for Ando that the people who occupy his buildings have spiritual and intellectual experience; like reading a poem or listening to music in a calm and strong environment. In this case, the concept is reflected in the moved cube located on the highest level, which connects the individual to the landscape. "... I try to use forces in a space to restore unity between home and nature ..." (Tadao Ando).
By 4 x 4 we mean that on each of the 4 floors above ground a distinct function develops, that is, the distribution of the rooms is not planimetric but vertical, 4 floors for 4 rooms
: besides the storage room in the basement we have the entrance and area service on the ground floor, a bedroom on the first floor, the study on the second and last floor, a kitchen with dining room and living room which is the focal point of the house. This final level is a cube with a floor-to-ceiling glass window on the southeast side that towers over the water like a giant telescopic square lens to capture panoramas.
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