WHAT IS A HOUSE FOR住宅所为何

Neven Fuchs: When you're young, you never know what your interest actually is. Then, one day it comes suddenly and unexpectedly. I liked Mies, Oscar Niemeyer, and Aldo van Eyck. But when Shinohara appeared it was different. His simultaneous command of both an extremely strong personal logic and emotional poetry was something that struck me from the very first moment I saw his drawings. In the beginning I just understood that it was mysterious and that appealed to me very much. Slowly, I learned a lot from these buildings, which at the time, were rare examples of an architecture that worked consciously with the issue of space. 

I cannot really say that it informed my path, because I went to Scandinavia to make architecture and teach together with Sverre Fehn, who didn't like Shinohara at all. However, it always remained very present in my thinking. 

I visited the Sea Stairway House three or four years ago and met the original owner, a painter, who still lives there. We spent the whole morning in the building. He spoke about how Shinohara drew the house, how he was changing it all the time, again and again, never satisfied with the result. He wanted to do a box because a studio is just a box, a kind of a warehouse of paintings. On the other hand, it is obvious that the complexity of this building required time to conceive. Eventually, he finished the construction of a second project, a summer house for the painter before the first house was ready. 

DID YOU EVER MEET SHINOHARA IN PERSON?

Yes, I did. He came to give a lecture in Oslo, and we had dinner together with some other professors. At the time, I was probably the youngest. He spoke about his machine-like spaces, urban architecture, from his last projects. He was very much a gentleman, nicely dressed. We were extremely impressed. I always remember his cool personality, extremely calm and superior. The questions were floating around, and he was answering, but he was also never too involved. 

YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE THAT MANAGED TO VISIT SEA STAIRWAY HOUSE. WHAT DO YOU EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU ENTER?

I chose to speak about this house today, because the question of how to make an intelligent domestic space has interested me for many years.

The house, in spite of all its simplicity, still manages to surprise.  There are almost no windows. The entrance is dark, but from the very moment you enter you see a delicate light sliding down the stairs. Climbing up, you start to see the small garden on the left side. Continuing up you realize that the room is becoming bigger and bigger. Finally, you arrive to a high, generous space with two levels. You immediately understand that there have to be some other adjacent spaces, hidden somewhere.

The way in which the big space is cleaned and divided by the small spaces can also be seen in other Shinohara houses of that period. For example, in Cubic Forest, the rooms on either side of the living room define its shape. In Sea Stairway House, however, he wanted to keep the big space as pure, simple, and contained as possible, and because of the nature of the site, moving all the small spaces towards the front and the back of the plot was probably the most natural thing to do to achieve it. It always fascinated me, how they are both present and absent. You don’t experience them at first, but they define the inner facades of the main space. The first facade has just one door, leading to the storage on a slightly higher level than the studio. The fact that you must climb three steps to reach it is quite unusual. However, it gives you a notion that the space continues. It is not a pragmatic decision, but a precise spatial intention. On the other side there are two openings, one to the kitchen and another one to the bedroom. Behind the wall, these two rooms are connected with a short and narrow corridor. I have to admit that the functionality is quite peculiar in this building, it is definitely not functionalist, but spatial. 

The main room has a similar basic concept to the Loos’ Moller house in Vienna, where you have a kind of playroom or a piano room, that also present themselves as performative stages in other rooms. In Sea Stairway House you are on the ‘studio stage’ whilst being in the living room. I imagine having parties and discussions with many people there, on the stage, or entering the stage, and find the notion of being in something big and comfortable, where the horizon of a space is constantly changing, extremely interesting.

It’s quite rare to experience a convincing adjustment of horizon in a space, as normally you would need relatively big rooms to make it successful.  At the same time, it is a house that doesn’t try to be fashionable or spectacular. It has something in common with good examples of vernacular architecture. 

Not so long ago I visited Suzhou Gardens in China. The buildings are extremely generic. However, the qualities of the gardens elevate them to something very specific. It belongs to what I would call, the third category, coming after the purely contextual and non-contextual project, and is where you start doing something very generic, for all possible locations, but because of the attention to the site or an accent on a topic, the design is elevated to something much more interesting. In other words, vernacular can be „just” vernacular. However, sometimes you realize that the builder who erected it, was cleverer, and the building became a masterpiece despite its roots being in a standard typology. I recognize the same quality in Sea Stairway house. Not showing off, anonymous, but, on the other hand, extremely engaged with the universal topics of architecture, in the strongest possible way. 

YOU MENTIONED THAT SVERRE FEHN DIDN'T LIKE SHINOHARA'S BUILDINGS. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS WAS?

At that time, I held a lecture, and showed the main room of the House in a Curved Road. Fehn really didn't like it, not even the columns, which are so beautiful. He said he would be afraid of being in this space. I’ve never fully understood that. 

It was probably too intellectual for Fehn. He liked architectural ideas, their strong sculptural presence, but he didn't like the absence of life in these buildings. They're somehow distant and photographed in a very special way, very carefully, in order to put you in a mood of imagining how it would be with life. No people, no dogs, no kids, nothing. Just pure space. Fehn’s buildings were usually also photographed empty, but somewhere in these pictures there was always the presence of life in some strange, and often very interesting way. 

TO US, SHINOHARA WAS THINKING A LOT ABOUT THE IDEA OF BRINGING VERY DIFFERENT FEATURES, REALMS, AND CHARACTERISTICS OF A BUILDING TOWARDS A COMMON GROUND. FOR INSTANCE, THE STAIRWAY CONNECTS THE PUBLIC STREET DIRECTLY TO THE PRIVATE DOORS OF THE BEDROOM. WITH A VERY STRAIGHT LINE, YOU HAVE TWO OPPOSITES - THE MOST INTIMATE AND THE MOST PUBLIC. DO YOU THINK THERE ARE OTHER SITUATIONS WHERE SHINOHARA RECONCILES THE OPPOSITES PRESENT?

Well, the opposites are probably more convoluted in this house. I'm thinking about the storage spaces. Why did the storage spaces get such prominent positions towards the street? One could also say that the service rooms should be on the level of the of the working space, but here the storage is three steps higher. I think it’s because it has another function, which I spoke about before. These spaces balance the directness of the entrance into the living room and the bedroom, by offering a more labyrinthian alternative. It’s this kind of reconciliation, between the clear and the complicated, which makes the building much richer. Usually, you want one or the other, here they are somehow mixed together. 

The clash of opposites also occurs between inside and outside. The small garden can be read as an inner space because of the way in which it is attached to and acts together with the interior. Having a very small exterior and a very big interior is something quite particular. It also has to do with the Japanese urban condition that I like anyway. This is especially true of the northern part of Tokyo, which was very densely built after the Second World War. They had no money and no space. The only reasonable solution was to make something very nice inside. In Europe you think that a house is small, and the garden is big. This is how it usually works. Sea Stairway House is done the other way around. 

IN THE LIVING ROOM, YOU HAVE TWO CORRESPONDING WINDOWS. DO THEY ALSO SUGGEST A MORE EXTERIOR CHARACTER?

It’s true that the windows correspond exactly, and in effect create a stage between two exterior spaces. However, when you are there, you don’t read them clearly as outside spaces, you just see light that comes from somewhere. The courtyard appears more as an artificial light source. In reality, the court is just very narrow, which prevents light from entering deep into the house and instead creates gentle gradients of shadow. 

The window on the other side of the stage has a different, darker kind of glass, which also slightly changes how the light looks. I had the impression that the way in which the openings are positioned and how they let the light in, rendered the room paradoxically more interior. However, they give an idea that an outside space exists. 

There are also three rectangular skylights on the North side of the space, which cast a very beautiful light from above. It is always very well-lit in a punctual way. One part of the space is darker, another part is bright. This renders the space mysterious and fascinating. I am sure Shinohara was also thinking about the nuances of weather, of things that could be brought into this space with time, things you don't experience immediately. 

It all creates a feeling that you are not completely cut off, you are somehow always gently reminded about the outside world you left upon entering the house. 

THE NAME OF THE HOUSE IS SEA STAIRWAY. THE STAIRWAY IS QUITE CLEAR. BUT WHAT IS THERE ABOUT THE SEA?

This is a thing about Shinohara which I have always liked. His buildings have names like any individual would. It was just a kind of image that came to his mind when the building was finished. This meta language of Shinohara’s architecture is extremely important because it always brings projects further. A project gets a name, and it brings another meaning, which in turn makes it much richer. In the end, a kind of conscious but subtle body of thinking is established around each work. 

19.12.2020

内文·福克斯: 当你年轻的时候,你永远不知道自己真正感兴趣的是什么,但它会突然在某一天不期而至。我喜欢密斯(Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)、奥斯卡-尼迈耶(Oscar Niemeyer)和阿尔多·范·艾克(Aldo van Eyck)。但筱原一男(Kazuo Shinohara)的出现给我带来了一些不一样的感受。他的建筑有着极强的逻辑性的同时也饱含着情感和诗意,这一点从我看到他图纸的第一眼就知晓了。最初我只是被他作品中的神秘感所吸引。慢慢地,我从这些建筑中学到了很多东西,在当时这是少有的有意识地回应空间问题的案例。

我不能说他的出现指引了我的道路,有一年我和斯维勒·费恩(Sverre Fehn)一起去斯堪的纳维亚做建筑和教学,他根本不喜欢筱原一男。即便如此,筱原常常强烈地在我的思考中出现。

三四年前我参观了海之阶梯(Sea Stairway House)。在那里我有幸拜访了房子最初的主人,他是一个画家,现在仍然住在那里。我们在房子里度过了整整一个上午。那日他谈到了筱原是如何画这个房子的。筱原一遍又一遍地修改图纸,对设计结果一直不满意。他的想法是做一个盒子,因为一个工作室就像是一个盒子—一个装满画作的仓库。另一方面,很明显,这个房子的复杂性需要足够的时间来思考。后来,在他完成另一个画家的夏季住宅的施工之前,这个房子的图纸都还未准备好。

你见过筱原本人吗?

是的我见过。他有一次来奥斯陆做讲座,我们和学院的教授们一起吃了晚饭。在那时,我可能是他们当中最年轻的那一个。他谈到了他最后做的城市建筑——一个以机器为概念的空间。他衣着得体,有绅士风度,我们对他的印象极其深刻。我一直记得他冷静的个性,极其平静而富有优越感。我们随机地问问题,他也都会回答,但看起来没那么投入。

你是为数不多的能够参观海之阶梯的人。当你进入这个房子的时候你体验到了什么?

我今天选择谈论这所房子,是因为多年来我一直感兴趣于如何设计一个充满智识的居住空间。尽管它很简单但它却能产生意想不到的空间氛围。这个住宅对周边的风景没有任何期待,几乎没有窗户,入口处是暗的。但从进入房子的那一刻起,你就会看到一道微妙的光线从楼梯上滑落。沿着长而缓的台阶拾级而上,你开始察觉到左边的小花园。继续向上,房间越来越开阔直到来到一个有两层层高的宽敞空间。

到达大空间的时候你会立即意识到,在某个地方还隐藏着一些其他的空间。我们可以在筱原同时期的其他住宅中看到类似的空间类型——干净的大空间且被分隔成一些小空间。例如,在长方体之森(Cubic Forest)中,在客厅两侧的房间定义了客厅的空间形式。在海之阶梯中,筱原希望尽可能地保持大空间的纯粹,简单和包容感。由于场地的特质,将所有的小空间向场地的前面和后面移动可能是最自然的处理方法。

这些小空间让我着迷,它们既存在又不存在。你不会在一开始察觉到这些空间,但他们定义了大空间的内立面。离入口处近的立面上只有一个门,通向比工作室稍高一层的仓库。很不日常的是,你需要通过三个台阶才能到达这个储藏空间。这三级台阶强调了空间还在延续的这一概念。这不是一个很实用的想法,而是一个精确的空间上的意图。另一侧的立面上有两个门,一个通向厨房,另一个通向卧室。在墙的后面,这两个房间被一条短而窄的走廊连接。我不得不承认,这个建筑的功能布局是非常特别的,它绝对不是功能主义的,而是空间的。

海之阶梯中的大空间有着类似于阿道夫·路斯(Adolf Loos)在维也纳的莫勒住宅(Villa Moller)的基本概念。房子里有游戏室或钢琴室,它们像舞台一样在其他房间呈现。在海之阶梯中,你在“工作室的舞台”上,也客厅的空间里。我可以想象许多人聚集在这里,在上面聚会和讨论,或者踏上这个台阶。在这个大而舒适的界面上,水平方向上的起伏是非常丰富有趣的。在水平方向上,这么富有落差感的视野变化是很难实现的,通常需要相对大的房间来实现这个空间氛围。与此同时,这也是一个不试图追求时尚或引起人们注意的房子。它与一些好的乡土建筑案例有共同的可取之处。不久前,我参观了中国苏州的古典园林。这些园林的建筑部分是极其平凡的。然而,园子的质量将他们升华成了一种特殊的存在。

我把这归在第三类——在纯粹的语境和非语境项目之后,你会针对一些有潜力的场地去做一些非常平凡的房子,但通过对场地的关注或对某种话题的强调,设计被提升为更有趣的东⻄。换句话说,乡土可以是 “仅仅 “乡土。然而,有时你会意识到建造者的聪明,这个房子可以成为在标准化的类型学之上的优秀作品。我在海之阶梯里看到了相同的品质。不是去炫耀,是无个性特征的,但在另一方面,以最强烈的方式参与了有关建筑学的讨论。

你提到斯维勒客费恩不喜欢筱原的建筑。你觉得是出于什么原因?

在那个时候我举办了一个讲座,讲座里我分享了一个建在弯路上的房子。费恩真的不喜欢它,甚至不喜欢那些非常漂亮的柱子。他说待在这样的空间会让他感到害怕。我并不是很理解这一点。

对费恩来说筱原的房子太过度思考了。他喜欢有明确建筑概念的房子,有强烈的雕塑感的表现形式,但他不喜欢这些房子中没有生命的感觉。他们在某种程度上是和人有距离的,并以一种非常特别的方式被捕捉,非常细致地,为了让你处于一种思考的状态,思考生活会是怎样的。没有人,没有狗,没有孩子,什么都没有,只有纯粹的空间。费恩的建筑通常也被拍成空的,但在这些照片的某个地方,总是有一些奇怪的生命存在,而且往往是非常有趣的方式。

对我们来说,筱原思考了许多,让一个建筑不同的功能、领域和特点达到一个共通点的理念。例如,他用楼梯将公共街道与卧室的门连接了起来。通过这样一条非常直的线,你有两种截然不同的体验,极致的公共与极致的私密空间。你认为在其他情况下筱原调和这种矛盾关系吗?

嗯,在这所房子里,截然不同的对立空间的体验可能会更加错综复杂。我想到的是关于储存空间的位置。为什么他把储物空间设计在突出的朝向街道的位置? 大多数人都认为储物空间应该被放在和工作空间水平的那一层, 但在这个房子里,人们却需要通过三级台阶才能到达那里。我认为这是因为它有另一个功能,我在前面讲过。这些空间通过提供复杂的,需要选择的状态来平衡从客厅再进入卧室的直接性。这是一种清晰与复杂的调和是为了让建筑更加丰富。通常你想要一个或另一个,在这里它们是以某种方式混合在一起。

室内和室外也存在着这样的冲突。小花园可以被解读为一个室内部分,因为它和室内相连并同时使用着。一个房子有一个非常小的室外空间和一个非常大的室内空间是非常特别的事情。这也和日本的城市状态有关,不管怎样我是喜欢的。特别是在东京的北部地区,在第二次世界大战之后,那里的建筑非常密集。当人们没有钱也没有空间的时候,做一些小而有品质的空间是唯一合理的解决方式。在欧洲你认为房子是小的那个,花园应该是大的。这是通常的做法。海之阶梯却反其道而行之。

在客厅里有两个对着的窗户。这是否也表明它有更多的室外性质?

的确,这些窗户完全是对着设计的,实际上在两个室外空间之间创造了一个台地。然而,当你在他们之间的时候,你不会清楚地解读它们为室外,你只是会看到光线从某个地方进来。内院看起来更像是一个人工光源。实际上这是个非常狭窄的内院,这让光线无法进入房屋深处,形成了柔和的阴影梯度。

在台地的另一侧的,筱原用了一种不一样的、颜色更暗的玻璃,稍微改变了进入室内的光线的性质。在我的印象里,这些开口的位置和它们让光线进入的方式渲染着房间更加像一个室内空间。然而,它们给人一种外面空间依然存在的意味。

在空间的北侧还有三个长方形的天窗,从上面投下非常美丽的光线。光线以非常精准的方式将下方照亮,让空间的一部分是稍暗的,另一部分是稍亮的。这种戏剧化的明暗分隔让空间变得神秘而迷人。我相信筱原也把天气的细微差别考虑进来了,捕捉天气环境时间对建筑的影响,是不会在空间里立即体验到的。 

这一切创造了一种感觉,你并没有完全和外界切断,相反,你在某种程度上被稍许暗示:在进入房子的时候你已经离开外部世界了。

这个房子的名字叫 “海之阶梯”。楼梯是很清楚的,但什么是关于海的呢?

这是非常筱原的命名方式,我一直都很喜欢。这些建筑像人一样有自己的名字。这只是他在建筑完成后得到的一种印象。筱原建筑的这种元语言是极其重要的,因为它总是使项目到达更远的一个层次。当一个房子有了一个名字,它就有了另一种更加丰富的意义。最后,一种由意识引导的但微妙的思考方式围绕着作品建立起来。

20201219

Neven Fuchs

Neven Mikac Fuchs is practicing architect based in Oslo, Professor Emeritus at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, with a broad international teaching experience from European and Japanese architectural schools. He was exhibiting at two Venice Biennale exhibitions, “Venice Project” in the 1980-ies and “Common Ground” in 2012. He practiced at Aalto’s office in Helsinki 1977/8. From 1979 – 83 he was a member of ILAUD (International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design) under direction of Gian Carlo de Carlo and Team 10, working on ILAUD’s projects in Urbino and Siena. In 1983 he moved to Oslo, as teaching assistant to Prof. Sverre Fehn at The Oslo School of Architecture.

Last 10 years Neven Fuchs was leading guest studio in architecture 'Space & Technique', concerned with exploring ideas about experience of architectonic space and different techniques of making these ideas possible as real, everyday architecture. Sometimes these ideas were tested in live projects in scale 1:1, as Inverted House, the project designed with AHO Team and Raphael Zuber, which won the 1. prize in Japanese, LIXIL sponsored competition 2015. The Inverted House was built 2015-6, on Hokkaido. It was awarded 2. prize for AR House Award 2017 and 1. Prize for the S-ARCH (Sustainable Architecture) award in Hongkong 2017 in the category of small architecture. In 2020, he won third prize, together with AHO Team, in the international competition for Xiong’an Urban Facilities in China.

www.romogteknikk.aho.no