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Seaside House with glass blowing workshop




趣味室 ロケーション ルーフテラス ロフト

Shirahama seaside house with glass blowing workshop

This house in Shirahama consists of three floors: a lower workshop area, a living space in the middle and the terrace with ocean view at the top. As this prefecture is well known for its ocean and mountain views, Mr. Yamashita designed a plan based on both, but with one special addition: a hidden space containing a third view, one usually over looked by designers and architects. This magic space is accessed by a secret door in the main attraction of any Shirahama house: the Ocean View room; but he also thought of a “tree house” concept for the children’s living space on the second floor, considering that this space had the Mountain View.


The owner required a design that included a glassblowing workshop. Because of this Mr. Yamashita had to solve the problem of a built in furnace that runs all day and all night, while at the same time, having to close doors and windows for security at night.

The other difficulty was having to make living spaces for three children while at the same time including a main room and a sea side living room, all in the second floor!

Mr. Yamashita also thought of a design that would decrease the material cost for his client. For this he included different kind of materials outdoors but excluded some finishing materials indoors.


Furnace Workshop:

In the first floor area we can find a wide workshop for the owner’s glass designs. He is a glass blower. For his works, he needs a lot of space with an area for the staff, an area for clients, a bathroom and a built in air shaft that works as an upper drift.



Inside the workshop interior we can find the electric furnace which is indispensable for his work. It emits high levels of heat both in the day and at night. In the day time, the windows on the seaside are fully opened, taking in the sea breeze and releasing heat through the high windows on the mountain side of the house (making a diagonal airflow). The furnace doesn’t stop at night and continues to generate heat, even though at night the windows are closed for security. Because of this, a different method to dissipate heat is required. For this, Mr. Yamashita designed an “updraft air shaft” that also serves as an exhibition (glass frame) for the owner’s glass designs. This shaft connects all floors in the house, from the lower floor workshop, through the second floor’s living space, all the way to the terrace. The air shaft not only helps with the airflow around the house, but also releases the heat that comes from the workshop’s furnace.


Seaside, mountainside and hidden side living space:

On the second floor we can find the main living spaces, including the living room and kitchen, the bedroom, and a space for the children. Shirahama is known both for its ocean and mountain views. For this, Mr. Yamashita designed a wide living room and kitchen in order to enjoy the Ocean View.


In the opposite side, there is a “tree house” concept for the children’s living space, which has the Mountain View. It is divided in two parts:


The lower part serves as an activity space, with three separate compartments for each child; on the upper space, we can find an attic-like space that is the nesting space for the children. Both spaces have a “tree house” concept, where the upper space works as a resting place for the children (like a nest) and the lower part as an activity space to spend time with friends and family (like the lower space of a tree where people can enjoy time around the tree trunk).

When you visit this house, although these are the only VISIBLE spaces in the second floor living, there is another invisible dimension that can only be accessed through a trick-door located in the ocean view living room. This magical dimension contains the up draft air shaft that passes through all the house, the access to the shower room with a bath tub, and a third view which goes hand in hand with the “tree house” concept: the sky view.  



Concerning the materials, Mr. Yamashita used the following.  

Groundwork material in the inside of the house:

A 12 mm. Structural (softwood) plywood, 5 mm. Lavan plywood and 15 mm. wood wool cement boards that help with insulation.

In the outside, the finishing material he used was:

Fiber cement siding for the ouside walls (and some inside walls exposed to the outside), thermo wood (louver) for the outside mountain side wall, natural slate that look like brick-stone, and galvalume corrygated sheets to the exterior wall in the sea side.


Mr. Yamashita chose the materials with the purpose of decreasing the owner’s expenses, so he decided to choose metarils that although are usually used for ground work, but look perfectly well as finishing material as well.

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