In the town of Isumi, located on the eastern edge of the Boso Peninsula, stands a remarkable creation that exemplifies the seamless integration of architecture and nature – the Warehouse Villa, designed by the visionary firm, Arii Irie Architects.
This distinctive structure was conceived in response to an extraordinary request from the owner of a restaurant business seeking a warehouse to house inherited furniture and cooking appliances. However, the architects saw beyond mere storage and envisioned a spacious vacation retreat for family and friends, where the boundary between the built environment and the natural world would dissolve harmoniously.
Situated amidst a tranquil low-density landscape, blending half-farm, half-residential areas, the Warehouse Villa finds its serene abode. Rich peripheral trees, serving as nature's protectors, shield it from the strong ocean winds that characterize the region. Here, the invigorating ocean breeze sets it apart from its neighboring city of Tokyo, offering a cooler and more refreshing ambiance during the summer months.
Arii Irie Architects embarked on an elegant journey of design, encapsulating the essence of simplicity and functionality. The architectural concept revolved around a protective shelter that shielded the interior from rain and wind while amplifying its aesthetic appeal through an all-encompassing outer skin. The result: a delicate marriage of materials, featuring a 0.5-millimeter-thick corrugated metal sheet and translucent corrugated polycarbonate, sharing the same profile. Straying from conventional norms, the architects eschewed glass and standardized sashes, opting instead for custom-made windows and doors that contributed to the building's unique character.
Inside this embracing outer shell, Arii Irie Architects thoughtfully crafted an environment that responded to its natural surroundings. Large sliding doors and horizontal and vertical swinging doors allowed natural light to dance within, creating an ever-changing ambiance that brought occupants closer to nature's rhythms. For moments when protection from nature's tiny intruders was desired, a set of mosquito net curtains gracefully swept into place, secured with the gentle embrace of Velcro.
The interior space, designed with versatility in mind, embraced the idea of adaptability. The Warehouse Villa became a canvas on which inhabitants could paint their experience – a space where tents or additional sheds could be introduced if the need arose. This harmonious blend of architecture and nature aimed to provide a nurturing atmosphere where residents found solace and joy in close communion with the environment.