This Tent-Shaped House Was Designed to Foster Community

published Feb 28, 2020
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Credit: Isamu Murai
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While its stark white exterior solidifies it as a standout structure, the Hara House was designed with cohesion in mind.

The creation of Takeru Shoji Architects, the private residence in rural Japan resembles a large tent and offers approximately 1,800 square feet of open space. The architects designed the home for a couple and two children with the intent of giving its occupants the chance to utilize the surrounding buildings. The land on which the home was built also contains several other structures, including a main family house, a green house, a work shed and a garage.

Built as an extension of the main house, the architects kept the concept of community at the forefront of the project.

“We designed a space where passing neighbors, friends and children can easily stop by to chit chat under the entrance porch, or workshop meetings and events hosted in the space can spill out to the land. Thus bringing down the threshold of the house and opening it to the village. Thereby extending the building envelope to create a larger semi- public space,” the architects explained in a press release. 

Referred to as a “house of incompleteness,” the Hara house gives its residents and the villagers  the opportunity to utilize the space at will. The home is intentionally devoid of partitions and lacks the standard elements that would make a residence self-sufficient.  The interior is constructed of wood and is sparsely furnished with a benched seating area, a furnace and built-in shelves. Lowered openings on the side allow for ease of entry and natural light to flow inside.

The architects explain how the concept of Hara house could serve to strengthen community interaction, writing, “Hara house is a proposal of a ‘small house’ that shows a new ‘management system of a village’; a way to revitalize villages that were formerly a collection of strong interconnections.”