The House of Translucent Sheds
Tato Architects came up with a very novel way to magnify warmth and light for a family in a region of northern Japan with few hours of winter daylight.
Three sheds are built on the roof.
Two of them are translucent and have no floor, making them gigantic skylights over the main floor.
The third shed is not translucent.
The rest of the roof deck creates a play space for the children.
The translucent roof sheds act as huge skylights.
One of the three sheds houses a very ample and sunshine-filled bathroom.
The bathroom sink is poised over the stairwell, extending the bathroom space.
A plentiful and relaxing space is formed in the warm sun for bathing, with a bath at one end and at the opposite end (seen below) a full width shower.
Viewed from the bath, the shower appears as a translucent wall.
The walls have more layers than the roof, so the visibility is greatly reduced.
The sunroom shed above the dining room brings down the most sky lighting effect.
These translucent polycarbonate structures collect warmth in winter, and exhaust heat through their windows in summer.
Upstairs, a small homework study area is incorporated right into the stair rail.
The roof is accessed next to the guesthouse shed.
This opening can be closed during the heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter nights .
The lower floor is slightly sunken into the raised earthen site, creating the look of a small platform housing the sheds, and building up a sloping site around the ground floor so that the in-floor ground heat pumps are more economically engineered.
The shed shapes hearken back to the vernacular peasant work shed in the rural landscape.
The region – surrounded by mountains – has overcast skies most days.
The design is a very clever solution that creates a light and stable climate inside.