In the suburban area of North Kanto, Japan, there is Module Grid House, a dwelling built for a young couple and their two children. Modulated according to the old Japanese measuring system named Shakkanho, Module Grid House is a project designed by the Japanese firm Tetsuo Yamaji Architects.
Tetsuo Yamaji Architects face a conflict between the singularity and collectivity; between the aim of being different and the necessity of fitting in the standard society nowadays. A house must accomplish some requirements that could be resumed in: comfort. Sharing this topic, thinking about individuality of each person and remarking it to denote their personality is quite logical. The production of prefab houses have some advantages like the efficiency, but the huge inconvenience is about standardisation. The midpoint is the one chosen in this case: prefabricated methods of construction are used to build singular projects.“a non-mass-produced house made with mass-produced components” the architects say.
In Module Grid House contemporaneity and tradition are together thanks to the tatami’s module
In Module Grid House it is used the old Japanese measuring system named Shakkanho based in the tatami’s dimension. In spite of its abolishment more than 60 years ago, the wood industry in Japan keeps manufacturing this sizes. It is about a design method more efficient and, also, the module turns into the most characteristic part of the project. It determines the distribution and also the façades grid. A measure is capable to fulfil this project of contemporaneity and tradition both.
Using different combinations of the same module the different spaces are created. In the floor plan is the main entrance and the principal bedroom. From the hall you can reach the first floor directly, where is located the large daily zone, with a tall headroom. It is also used to compose façades to achieve a modular appearance. In Module Grid House the tatami’s scale has been adapted and reinterpreted to a bigger one: the scale of architecture.
Photography: Kenta Hasegawa