Woven patches of grass in green hues slope down AR House like an artistic configuration of an open park. It then becomes an invite to a public domain, carpeting the built structure like a natural platform for a minimal sculpture. The boundary between the street and the residence disappears, creating a spectacular sight of this monumental architecture in Oita City, Japan.
Designed by Kubota Architect Atelier, AR House sits on a residential hillside overlooking the coastal city of Oita. The mass is an intersection of two perpendicular bars for a volume that’s porous and airy. Large wall surfaces run along with the design like archways embracing one another, serving as both structural supports and functional facades. Aesthetically, the walls are sliced at an angle, framing glass windows to deliver a layered depth and at the same time to form crisp contours of the building’s body.
Cleverly, the ground floor of AR House is distributed with private building programmes. Although unusual, as ground floors are often easily accessed, the design decision takes advantage of the sloping hill and precast concrete of the foundation for visual coverage. The use of opaque glass further increases the degree of privacy while allowing silhouettes of the garden’s vegetations to be present, mystifying the inner space with elements of the outer surroundings.
The two elevations of the project are connected with a continuous staircase that leads up to a full-height window filled with sunlight. Gathering moments from the dining area to a master living room is encased with breathtaking views of the city below. A panoramic perspective engulfs the upper floor with natural light, juxtaposing the stillness of isolation against the congested urban landscape.
AR House is a vessel of sybaritic characteristics. The designers of Kubota Architect Atelier efficiently utilised geography to create spaces with contentment: from an abstracted open park to an enclosed lookout platform. It is not the luxury of having physical matters, but the luxury of experiencing fulfilling instances that transcend the life quality of the inhabitants.