XXXX House

Masahiro Harada and Mao Harada.

Two architects, Masahiro Harada and Mao Harada, who make up Mount Fuji Architects Studio have been collecting awards since their student years. There is a long list of all their achievements on their website.

In 2003 they got a project in Yaizu near Shizuoka. The owner saved up to buy a Toyota Corolla Sedan and in the last minute decided he would rather have a pottery studio built. He asked the pair of architects to build him one with the budget he had for the car. He had 1.5 million Japanese yen in 2003. That’s about 14 400 US dollars in 2019. So, not much.

Which one would you choose—the workshop or the car?

Whatever your choice, the investor went with a pottery studio/workshop.

The building is called XXXX House, because it’s made of four X’s. To make one X, you take two wooden quadrilateral pens and stand them on their sides.

Then you just make a tunnel from four of these X’s.

Like I said, the material for the X’s is wood. The rest—the front and back of the tunnel and those triangles formed when the quadrilaterals are skewed to make those X’s—is glass.

Such a low budget calls for simplicity and inventiveness. The final result is pretty amazing, don’t you think?

I wonder what it looks like today. After all, it was built sixteen years ago…

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