This House Works with Nature and Traditional Japanese Architecture After learning the stories behind their project Kokubu, here we introduce another master piece by the award winning architectural firm Kiriko Design Office (キリコ設計事務所). At project No. 33, we see the architects utilises natural materials and incorporates environmentally conscious design methods to address the area’s susceptibility to tsunami and flooding. “This way of thinking is gradually becoming universal in the present age of aiming for a sustainable society.” Kiriko Design Office reflected reconfiguring our relationship with the environment. Guided by traditional Japanese culture and design trends, No. 33 boasts a spacious open plan layout, a large tea room and equipped with a sleek bamboo finish on the wooden surfaces. The building proudly displays large windows facing onto the The Enokuchi River, allowing the home’s inhabitants to increase their consciousness towards the river in its’ process of pollution recovery. Today, we explore this project further with the brains behind it — Kokutou Uemori and Masaaki. THE PLUS: Why name it No. 33?Kiriko Design Office: The No. 33 building is located on the opposite side of “the 33 Earth” monument commemorating 133.33 east longitude and 33.33 north latitude. TP: What is “the 33 Earth”? KDO: Around the world, there are only 10 points on land where the 12 same numbers of latitude, longitude, degrees, minutes, and seconds are lined up (Indonesia, Nigeria, Guinea, Libya, Botswana, Australia, Japan and Russia). However, most of them are located in deserts and large open plains. They are not easily accessible, and can only be reached by ordinary means at “the 33 Earth”. The name of the building was inspired by it. TP: What were the most important changes to be made when rebuilding? KDO: Taking the appropriate countermeasures in case of a Tsunami or flooding was our most difficult and our most important concern. TP: How did you incorporate this threat from The Enokuchi River into the design process? KDO: The Enokuchi River is affected by the ebb and flow of the tide, and in the event of a major earthquake, a tsunami of up to about two meters in height may strike. The ground height of the site was about 1m higher than the surrounding ground, due to the embankment that had been there since the clients’ grandfather’s generation. We knew that most of the wooden houses were previously washed away, so we planned to use a high-floored concrete foundation in addition to this ground height to prevent flooding in the event of a tsunami, while maintaining the same wooden flat style that existed before reconstruction. TP: What types of wood are used alongside Bamboo? KDO: We usually use local cedar. TP: What type of atmosphere did you and the clients’ desire for this house? KDO: We hoped that this house would become a symbol of the area and a place to be “cuddle-close” to the surrounding environment. TP: Tell us more about the tea room. KDO: We were planning on having a small room, about 8㎡ at first. Our client was personally concerned about the decrease of tea rooms big enough to hold tea ceremony classes, so at their request we altered the size to about 14.5㎡, so the room can now facilitate large groups and the tradition can continue. TP: Can you talk a bit about the design process for the garden, and why it was necessary to clearly separate the boundaries when it was rebuilt? KDO: The reason for separating the boundaries is a private matter of the client, so we cannot be answered in depth. It was influenced by a tea ceremony called Sado which is based on the spirit of Japanese hospitality. We used that spirit in the design process for the garden. TP: Three words to define the aesthetics of No 33? KDO: Culture,tradition,and regional.