Through a series of drawings we began to understand certain elements within the Naked House, and their connection to Traditional Japanese Architecture.  The Naked House is interesting in that while it doesn't look Japanese, it follows the basic fundamental principles of Japanese tradition and lifestyle.  Japanese architecture is a constantly evolving system that seeks to achieve these basic principles.  While the house may not look intrinsically Japanese, there is rooted in each design an effort to emulate and capture the Japanese way of living.

The elements of the house that are explored are all related to this concept of a cycle.  The cycles of hours in a day, of different holidays, and of changing temperatures are all taken into consideration when designing and constructing a house.  There is a general understanding that each building has a lifecycle, and that is what these drawings try to capture.

A Permanent Space.

These morphology drawings begin to illustrate the programs that have been given a permanent space, and programs that have been given a semi-permanent space.  It is important to understand why some spaces are deemed crucial enough in daily life to have a space of their own, and how these spaces then interact with the rest of the house.

Permanent spaces in the Naked House.

Location of permanent spaces in the Naked House.

Curtains in the Naked House close and open a space. 

A Movable, Transformable Room.

The movable boxes in the middle of the Naked House have probed us to ask the really interesting question; what is importance of a space with no program?  The Japanese have shown throughout history that rooms are not defined by the the space itself, but instead by the objects inside of the space.  Each movable box replicates the idea of the 'tatami' mats, which is a traditional mat that is used as a unit of measurement.  The 'tatami' mat is one of the most iconic Japanese architectural details and it is what lead us to view this house as a purely Japanese house, that has used western influences as a way to more effectively express the basic principles.

Movable Boxes in the Naked House

Different arrangements of movable boxes.

Boxes resemble traditional Japanese Tatami mats. 

Traditional Japanese Tatami Mats.
Tatami mat pattern in a movable box in the Naked House

The Inside/Outside Relationship

There is a very important relationship that Japanese people have with the environment.  It is the ability to embrace the harsh weather conditions of all seasons that helps shape Japanese architecture.  All buildings have a life cycle, and as the weather changes throughout the year, the building changes with it.  The Naked House explores this unique relationship between the inside and the outside in many ways.  The house has two openings on either side of the long rectangular space that creates a horizontal flow through the house connecting the inside to the outside.  The walls are made of a transparent plastic that allows light to flow into the house when it is too cold to open the house to the outside.  The Naked House also has the ability to allow the movable tatami boxes to go outside.  This creates a very visual and effective image of the inside and the outside working together. 

Japanese art illustrating the importance of nature:
Matsu Basho:
Passing through the world
indeed this is just,
Sogi’s rain shelter.

The two openings on the end of the house allow for a horizontal connection to the outside. 
Areas of the Naked House connected to the outside.

Shoji paper screens in a traditional Japanese house allow for light to shine through.

Plastic walls in the Naked House allow for light to shine through.

Plastic walls in the Naked House allow for light to shine through

Exterior Ornamentation

The roof is the most visually important aspect of Japanese architecture.  The roof evolved from a means to meet basic necessities.  Simple roofs served to protect from the snow and rain.  They provided shelter from the wind and the sun.  They served as a barrier from the inside activities with the wild animals and insects.  As well, the shape of the roof provided lots of air ventilation inside for the house.  As the styles of roofs evolved, the Japanese began to associate a larger, and more elaborate roof with a high status family.  The Naked House has such a simple roof in comparison with the intricate Japanese roofs of the later periods.  However, the purpose of the Naked House roof was to meet all the basic necessities of life, and in that sense it is similar to first Japanese roofs. 

Japanese traditional elaborate roofs:

Japanese original roof designs: aimed to meet basic needs.

The Naked House roof resembles these simple Japanese roof designs:

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