By Tami Klein
Posted in design
Unpretentious modesty is, apparently, the domain of Japanese culture. The climate in which they live leaves a mark. Takeshi Hosaka’s ability to be content with a minimum is surprising not only in his works, but also in the home that he built for himself.
When Takeshi Hosaka moved to Tokyo, financial constraints forced him to build a home for himself and his partner on a lot of only 19 square meters!? Before seeing photographs of the house, it is difficult to imagine how a person could live in such a small space, which provides for all necessities – with a dining/work area, kitchen, bedroom, shower and lavatory, even a small garden at the entrance and an ornamental pool where waterlilies float, which is visible from the bedroom.
Read the following statement that Takeshi Hosaka wrote about his worldview, and you will discover an aspect of this young man that can arouse envy. The sentence is reminiscent Epicureanism, ancient Greek philosophy taught by Epicurus in the year 300 B.C.E., about the importance of seeking modest pleasures, achieving peace, and being free of fear and physical pain.
“I wanted to realize in this small house the five elements that made the Roman ideal for living in the villa: study, bathing, theater, music, gastronomy,” explained the Japanese architect, who built the house for himself and his partner. “Every day I go to an open-air bath, enjoy 300 records at a sufficient volume, eat cooked rice in a clay pot, and read a book I like.”
The use of unfinished concrete slabs in the design of “Love2 House” is striking. The house has “warmth” – the combination of books, the art hung on the wall, dishes, textiles and plants express the fullness of life, much like the sentence quoted above, spoken by the resident and architect.
An additional element, the “tower” an open space of unusual height, is breath-taking. Even if you can’t build lengthwise or crosswise, only the heavens limit the height to which you can rise. The height and design of the light shaft and the sunlight at the top of the upward-reaching cone are, to my mind, a distinctive work of art on their own. They transmit a feeling of wonder, an almost church-like holiness. The shapes of the light that penetrates from above are mesmerizing, like kaleidoscope in action.
“Although there is no direct sunlight during the three months of winter, the house’s conical roof concludes in a round opening that brings sufficient light within the space. During summertime, the direct sunlight enters into the interior, reminiscent of southern countries, creating an enjoyable environment.”
I find the man and his life in the home he build for himself and his partner moving. It is a shame that we, in the West, are so far from the warm, embracing modesty expressed by Love2 House.