Atsushi and Mayumi Kawamoto are the force behind mA-style, a design and architecture firm based out of Shizuoka prefecture. Their latest project, completed in September 2010 is Kawabe no Sumika, or Riverbank House.
Located on a narrow strip of land, sandwiched between a quiet riverbank and a residential neighborhood, the home’s unique form was inspired by the juxtaposed views offered by the surrounding environment. Standing on the riverbank you had views of the calm stream traveling to an unknown destination, unfazed by the birds, joggers and other small life form taking advantage of its natural serenity. However, a few steps down the bank, away from the river, revealed a startlingly contrasting view; homes and more homes, so grounded and monumental.
The completed home is a perfect isosceles triangle which, by definition, consists of 2 even sides. However, as the photos accurately portray, there is nothing even about them. One side of the triangle – the side facing the neighboring houses – does not have a single window, opening or slit except for the door. Because there was no need. The opposite side could not be more revealing. Each room is accompanied by large windows that open up to the environment around it.
The living room and dining room, places where one might entertain guests, are located on the second floor. The private quarters are located on the ground level.
Each side of the home, with its minimal, smooth surface on one side and its relatively complex set of shapes and openings on the other, are like a reflection of each opposing environment – the residential neighborhood and the serene stream.
The home is a true meditation on site-specific architecture and how one comes to terms with the immovable.