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Manifesto by Aaron Janushewski, First Year Graduate Studies at Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism , Carleton University With Collaboration of University of Alicante

The Manifesto of Re-Reading THE NAKED HOUSE

In Collaboration with; Megan Beange, Emily Monette, Ines Martinez Diez, Borja Castillo Alberola, Rubén Martínez Sanchís, Sergio Navarro Garcia, Jose Diaz Mollà, Tatiana Ferrer, Juanjo Ruiz. Professors Halldóra Arnardóttir and Javier Sánchez Merina

The Manifesto of Re-Reading THE NAKED HOUSE

Table of CONTENTS 4. THE NAKED HOUSE 6. Reading THE NAKED HOUSE 10. Presentation VIDEO 12. PhotoMOTAGE 14. Canadian NAKED HOUSE 16. Conclusion of CULTURAL


20. New Ending to THE NAKED


22. Drawing ACTION 24. Section of a Detail 28. Group COMMUNICATION 29. ManiFESTO 30. BiblioGRAPHY




Space for the family This large family had a land in Kawagoe, a small town on the outskirts of Tokyo where the accelerated speed of city life gives way to a calm landscape of greenhouses and rice fields that extended along the river Shingashi. In a Japanese context, it is a privilege to possess a land that can contain a house of more than one hundred square metres. The client having such an opportunity, decided to maximise, tvhe significance of the communal space in the house where the different generations could communicate and relate to each other. Also, being part of the client’s culture, one could argue that Shigeru Ban, took as a starting point the traditional Japanese meaning of the word “dwelling” - symbolising the roof as a gateway between heaven and earth. Consequently, the roof expresses the atmosphere of the place and it is precisely by the ceiling that people’s thoughts have generous space. Even more so, the delicate floor in the traditional Japanese house is understood like a platform which forms part of the furniture. It implies a magnet state similiar to that of walls in Eurpean dwellings which we tend to sit against. In Japan the main pole of attraction is the floor and where one is seated rather than standing or walking on. The way of life in the Japanese house is motivated by movements that cherish the floor, leaning against it or even moving about it on four feet. The floor also gains attention with horizontal lines, the sliding doors and movable screens, as well the black lines that frame the places where things happen. This list of elements directs the viewers’ attention to the floor as a place of communication. Between the floor and ceiling, the foundation for people’s dwelling lies in the spiritual. It is the place where the soul is nourished without any distraction of ornamentation or external influences - an idea that derives from Zen Buddism and the belief that knowledge is obtained through reflection and insight.

A house naked of partitizons Working within the concept of different generations fusing their lives, Shigeru Ban came up with a translucent shed-like structure containing a single common space in which private areas were reduced to a minimum. Private spaces for each member of the family are organized by four mobile, cubicle bedrooms. The three generations thereby shared a house which took reference models so opposed as the room of four and a half tatamis - the basic unit of traditional Japanese architecture - and the loft - a summary of a residential ideal, occidental and metropolitan, that renounced partitions in the interests of greater spatial amplitude. The open-plan and neutral space of the shed can be organized and transformed as needed by moving the bedrooms, they even can be drawn out to the garden through the large window on the western facade. With them, and by emphasizing the movement of the cubicles by making their wheels highly visible, the surface of the floor reinforces its quality as a place of communication. On the opposite end of the house, next to the porch that serves as the parking area, the bathroom, laundry and a dressing room are drawn together. All the clothes of the family members are stored together to avoid the use of wardrobes that would impede the movement of the cubicles. The kitchen is placed at one side of the shed and separated from the common living area by way of a curtain. With a similar appearance as the greenhouses nearby, a translucent enclosure was designed to protect the family’s privacy and to avoid unwanted glances from the access route. The exterior of the wooden framework which forms the structure is clad with corrugated translucent plastic reinforced with fiberglass, while the interior facade is covered with cotton fabric fixed with Velcro to make it easier to clean. The problem that Shigeru Ban was faced with was to find thermal insulation, which permitted the light to filter through. Once more following his interest in introducing new materials in the building construction, and by practicing with colorful materials such as wood splinters and remnants of recycled paper, he decided to fill the cavity left between the two planes with polystyrene shaving that in Japan is used to pack fruit. The only requirement to make this product suitable was to have to saturate it in a liquid that held back fire and to enclose it in transparent vinyl bags that were sealed and nailed to the wooden structure. With the exception to the cubicles, which were constructed with brown corrugated carton, the interior of the whole house enjoys the same milky white light that characterized the old houses with screens made of rice paper. In the same way as the traditional Japanese house is not thought as a permanent dwelling but a place where the inhabitants stay temporarily until their situation changes, the Naked House is designed as a one space which describes the course of time like water in the river that never stands still and takes on enumerable forms.


Reading THE NAKED HOUSE The masterpiece that is the ‘Naked House’ is a reinterpretation of the Japanese culture in a contemporary way. It’s simple and elegant design is a representation of Dwelling between heaven and Earth. The soft light that illuminated the space give to the feeling of existing in the middle, floating without touching. Mobile sleeping cubes reinforce this idea and bring the idea a river into the home. A river flows and moves around stationary objects, like in the home, the multiple-generation change and reshape the interior of the home to match their needs and habits. It allows the building to respond in dramatic ways to the occupants and Transforms to allow for a dynamic movement within the home.




Floor Plan

West Perspective

East Perspective


Presentation VIDEO

Shigeru Ban

Not Shigeru Ban 10

Taking the role as an Architect being interviewed about his work, a conversation was fabricated to talk about the housing selection as from the perspective of the Architect.

“The Paper Architect?” “Paper 1986, When People is not talking about recycling or ecological sustainability, I just didn’t want to waste material. For one project I had a little budget, and I needed low cost, light material. Always the paper tubes around in my studio, tracing paper, wax paper, toilet paper, always we wasted the paper tubes. So I thought the paper tubes could be very good material ‘cause I knew a paper tube was quite strong and very inexpensive.”

“It seems like a far stretch, did it not seem a little crazy to you at first? Paper Architecture?” “For me there is no difference between permanent structure and temporary structure it all the same for me, depending on the function of the project, and depending on whether if the people love the building or not, even though the paper tubes want to be temporary if the people love the building it can be kept as a permanent building. The strength of the structure has nothing to do with the strength of the material.”

“Very interesting… Can you tell us more about the naked house?” “Having met the client only once, I was again considering what to do with the project of the house, when the client sent me a fax with precise requests, what he wanted was described as a house that provided least privacy so the family members are not secluded from each other. A house that gives everyone the freedom to have individual actives in a unified space, after reading this I knew I should take the project. Whatever is around us, whatever grass, plastic paper, anything can be a building structure material. I have special engineer to tell me strengths, and do research.” 11

TRANSFORMATION 1. to change inform, appearance or structure, metamoirphose. How does one transform something when what is changing is only temporary? Like covering an unkempt couch with a blanket the fact that the couch is still there, but is temporarily transformed into something more wonderful and appealing. Even the atmosphere of a derelict building, old and rotten can hold the illusion of a palace full of grandeur.





Canadian NAKED HOUSE Using the idea of ‘What would you do if this client asked to build this house in our own country, Canada?’ The Canadian Naked House is a conceptual drawing trying to capture the essence of what would be designed. A Communal Space around a central warmth (represented by the fireplace) with large amounts of south exposure allowing for maximum light. A minimal, massive heavy wall built into the earth to reinforce the feeling of safety from exposure. Family would be immortalized with family pictures on the walls. The glass is to allow for a visual connection to the nature that surrounds the home. Family is free to come and go knowing there will always be a place where all the family can meet.




Looking for a conclusiton to the idea and concepts discussed up to this point. A last photo montage was develeped to bring together the final ideas about Reading THE NAKED HOUSE.


Igor Fracalossi: Some day, I noticed that the architecture seems to be more of a temporary state that one thing space. When one is using the architecture and construction perhaps the architecture itself does not exist. Only at the time that one is looking at the architecture is that perhaps she exists. German del Sol: maybe you are right. Someone once said that nobody has ever seen an empty part, or a virgin forest. Because at the time that someone enters, the piece is not empty, nor the forest, virgin. ‌ 18

Transformation and Integration, between Heaven and Earth. Between heaven and earth is ‘Dwelling’, the space where we live. The bridge, built on a solid foundation, represents the earth; solid and constant. Built off of that foundation we construct our dwelling space where we travel though time. This bridge and length of time, is the path we travel, emerging as an older, wiser version of we left. The sky above us is a constant reminder that there is always more ahead, it promises new experiences. The young lady leaves to start her journey; she will encounter and join with others along her course through life. At the end of her journey, when she has experiences everything along her path, she will be able to look back. By seeing her past experiences she will know the lives she merged with. Along with all of this, the meaning of transformation and interaction are crucial, both transform the project into the reality, and that’s what we want to convey though the montage, the feeling of change.

... Which is constant and innocent ... Which it’s a surprise during the journey along




When the family commissioned the new project they were looking for nature; they moved out of the city looking for some tranquility. However, since having built their home new families have also built homes, developing the land surrounding the house. The neighborhood has since been in constant growth, with an increasing yearly population. This development has caused the transformation from a rural, quiet and serene landscape into a semi-urban neighborhood. As a result, the relationship between the original house and the quiet rural landscape has been severed, and a new relationship with the residential neighbors has informally taken its place. The family has also evolved since first moving into the home; the children have left the home to continue their studies at prestigious secondary schools, the grandmother has died of old age leaving the grandfather lonely and arthritic, and the parents are retired and leading personal lives full of independent interests and social activity. The children only come home when they are on holidays and the parents are currently enjoying their freedom to entertain. Now that the father is retired -after spending most of his life outside the home- he has become an active part of the family again. Though he spends most of his time at home now, he hasn’t lost the habit of meeting with his ex-coworkers. He usually invites them to his home once or twice a week, thus returning some life to the home. The wife similarly has friends and co-workers over. Now, the house has been transformed into a space with renewed duality; the juxtaposition of the intimate/private and the social is changed but still present. The flexibility of privacy and space is still applicable, however the purpose has changed. The flexibility is no longer serving a set group of 6 people with varying needs. Instead the flexibility is responding to both the new needs of a household of 3, and the constant stream of visitors and guests. On the other hand, there is a degree of obstinacy in the family. The grandfather’s traditional customs have set the family at odds. It symbolizes a clash between the traditional and western influences in Japan. Another element of family life that has taken a new role in the home is the personal interest/activity. The grandfather has taken to the art of bonsai in his wife’s absence, growing and keeping them in the house. This preoccupation with the art of Bonsai is consuming for the grandfather and serves as the third element of his family life. Similarly, the mother and father are now both retired, and when not entertaining, have personal pursuits of their own. The father has taken to games of strategy, loves historical documentaries, war stratagem, and has taken up his study of martial arts again. The mother has found more time for her love of watercolors and can often be found moving one of the empty bedrooms around the home, a make shift studio inside, looking for the best lighting and the best views. In summary; the family’s private life has changed, the parents’ jobs have been replaced with more social activities and the personal interests of the family have now taken on a more important and dominating role in their lives.



Motion of steps though the First Sequence on Tatami Mat

Drawing ACTION The father being retired early has an abundant time to spend at home and has taken up Martial arts as a way to exercise his body and maintain a strong mind. The philosophy of martial arts is to purge oneself of selfish and evil thoughts so that the practitioner can understand the knowledge he receives.

TAI KYOKU KATAS Taikyoku means ‘First cause’, because of its simplicity, the kata is easily learned by beginners. It is also returned to upon mastery of the art of karate. There are 20 moves in the sequence, 2 Kiai or spirit yells in the kata. ‘Yoi’ is spoken at the ready stances and must be taken seriously as one’s ability is displayed in this stance. ‘Yame’ is spoken at the end and means that mean ‘ready’. The philosophical Term of Taikyoku the denoting the Macrocosm before it’s differentiation into heaven and Earth; Hence, Chaos or the Void.



Section of DETAIL


In response to the ACTION, the proposal is to cut a section out of the floor. By doing this a lowered permanent floor area would be created allowing for the early retired Father to have an area in which to practice martial arts. By lowering the floor and proposing light liftable panels for access, the opening in the floor could be coved allowing for a flat surface to match the existing floor. The mobile sleeping contains would still be able to remain in use and free to be moved around.



As an exercise, and in preparation for creating a single precise action, 5 Key Point questions about the house were asked. The Key Point was responded to and similarities in responses were compiled as a response below is question and response. RESPONCES • The semi-transparent house is now in the center of a built up area. Wooden screens (possible with vegetation) move along a track to provide flexible privacy to all area of the house. This way light still fills the space. • The overall footprint remains the same. However the ‘interior’ space is reduced. The rest of the existing building gets transformed into flexible indoor-outdoor space for entertaining/living. An addition of a vegetable garden is part of this space. This private courtyard would bring back the relationship with nature the house once had.

KEY POINTS • How does the house age, what elements might need to be replaced?

• What happens to increase the privacy from the encroaching neighborhood?

Group COMMUNICATION • Our proposal would include removing the existing plastic exterior wall covering and replace it with glass. • There is now just one pod, however it still works in the same way. Even through the interior space is smaller the one pod can still be pushed out of the way to make an open space fro entertaining indoors, it can still be moved outdoors through the large doorway, or centrally located if it is just the two parents alone in the home. • Although the naked house is rooted in the principles of Japanese architecture more traditional materials with modern alternatives are used in the design. However, the house has maintained a strong resonance with its past, having the same focus on flexible interiors and the planar existence of the dwelling. The pearlescent light that filters into the home during daylight hours, the shadows cast within the home by its occupants at night, the minimal amount of privacy between family members; it all hearkens back to the traditional. These ideas of light and community will continue 28 even with the amendments to the original house we have proposed.

• Does part of the building get removed/ changed to reflect family size? • Remove/fix the pods as generations are no longer there to share the same communal space?

• How does the idea of ‘dwelling’ (between heaven and earth) change, or how does it stay the same?

“When I want to understand what is happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow, I look back.� - Omar Khayyam

ManiFESTO During the Process of bringing THE NAKED HOUSE to the year 2012; ideas, concepts, culture had to be analyzed and deconstructed. What changes can really be made to a house that is as flexible and open as the current construction? When selecting a word from the original readings Transformation has a strong correlation with the home as it is constantly changing and readapting. The best for the way for THE NAKED HOUSE to change would be for the occupants to change, a different set of requirements and habits would then transform the space. With regard to the DESIGN proposed, cutting into the fabric of the house seems similar to a surgeon cutting into the body of a patient; extracting, manipulating, modifying then closing up the incision to make fabric whole again. By Cutting into the floor to create another permanent space below the existing continuous surface would be fitting addition. It would waste not extra space, nor take up any existing space. But the DESIGN, would create a new function to the home and reflect further upon the inhabitants. 29

BiblioGRAPHY - The Naked House in Kawagoe, by Shigeru Ban - Shigeru Ban Architects - Works - Houses ES_24/SBA_Houses_24.html - CENTRO DE ARTES ORIENTAIS - Solar Decathlon Winner –”Living 2015” Prototype ing-2015-prototype/ - “Living 2015” - Solar Decathlon Winner 2007 - Interview with Shigeru Ban - Actar: Architecture: Verb Natures 30

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The Manifesto of Re-Reading The Naked House

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