White Cave House
White Cave House is characterized by its thick, white exterior and courtyard built on a site in the suburbs of Kanazawa City.
Our client requested a minimal, pure white design with several outdoor spaces. In other words, their house should have a covered entrance porch, a garage for two cars, and a courtyard. The covered entrance porch and garage are indeed essential in Kanazawa, which receives heavy snowfall and means that the courtyard would easily have been buried in snow. By trying to meet all of the requirements within a set budget, the interior space for living would have had to be sidelined. We needed to adapt the house and its courtyard to a lifestyle in a snowy area.
To solve these problems, the proposal was to connect each of the outdoor spaces by cranking them. We sought a framework for the composition where adjacent outdoor spaces would complement their functions while restraining the size of each space yet retain their connections, and each space would not feel cramped since sunlight from an adjacent space would imply depth.
Under this policy, it was necessary to connect the garage, where privacy is not required, to the courtyard, where privacy is required. Therefore, we blocked the view from the outside by turning each of the outdoor spaces three-dimensionally so that the inside could not be seen from the outside. Naming this series of outdoor spaces “White Cave,” we had our client incorporate the variations in light within the serene space specific to a house with a courtyard into their lives by arranging rooms around the White Cave. Another important feature is that the connection between these outdoor spaces serves as a route to remove and carry away snow from the courtyard and the terrace. The White Cave is also a practical system to maintain the courtyard of a house in a snowy area.
The series of outdoor spaces created under such conditions has a simple beauty isolated from the outside world. To emphasize this even more, we took a different approach for the waterproof layer in the courtyard—it can be used as a shallow water basin. The reflections and flickers of light are generated by incorporating water into the landscape of the white wall with the sunlight and the sky. Thus, a change has been added to the lives surrounded with a simple beauty to achieve a mild expression.