The initial house was the result of a contest organized by a magazine and approached the client with the famous architect, Tadao Ando. The 4x4 House perfectly adapts to the site requirements. A decisive factor in the project was the Hanshin earthquake, which caused terrible devastation in the area.
Once the first house was finished, a second customer asked Ando to build a similar house in the neighboring site. With this second order, the architect was able to complete his original idea of the two houses, but with no communication between them as he had previously thought.
The two buildings are located off the coast of Hyogo, in the outskirts of Kobe, along a commercial strip. Each home is located in a 5 x 5 meter plot, a critical condition at the time of designing the buildings.
Each unit is a block of concrete that serves as a lighthouse overlooking the view of the sea.
The first house has minimal floor dimensions, approximately 4x4 meters and instead addresses the necessities of the occupants in height, using a basement, ground floor and three other floors above this.
The second house becomes different from the first one when we study the vertical accesses. While the first is developed by a staircase, the second one has an elevator. Another difference between them is the materials that were used; the original house was built entirely in concrete while the second one used wood as well, by request of the customer.
Each floor of the house is used for a different activity: storage in the basement, access and service on the ground floor, bedroom on the first floor, study on the second, kitchen and dining room on the top floor.
The spaces are almost completely enclosed on three sides, while they are open along the fourth facing towards the sea.
Concrete, wood and glass.