The Canal House is a family residence fronting a canal and neighborhood street. The home integrates contemporary and traditional Japanese living spaces and construction methods.
The Canal House is defined by contrasting material qualities of mass and lightness, opacity and transparency, and programmatic organization in private and public zones. Thick, cast-in-place concrete walls define the exterior facades of the house. The terraced planes of the facade reference Shitomodo eave styles, traditionally found in houses along canals, which provide protection and orient views to the water. While historical Shitomodo eaves consist of a wooden panel that is lightly supported by a bamboo pole, in the Canal House the eaves and struts are cast from concrete. The material uniformity of the facade creates an unexpected inversion of heavy and light elements as a contemporary expression of a traditional construction assembly. Under each eave is a single Yoshino-style window that acts as a lantern below the overhangs.
Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee
Project Manager: Anton Schneider, Nicholas Hofstede; Project Lead: David Gray; Project Team: Toshiki Niimi, Ethan Chan, Ryan Hernandez
UME Architects: Satoru Umehara, Junichi Owaki