Windowless Daylight House – Contradiction in Terms?
We all know Japan is small in size, but we also know that it’s packed to the brim with awesome creativity and simple solutions to otherwise complex issues. Take the Daylight House by Takeshi Hosaka Architects, located in the busy urban landscape of Yokohama. The challenge here was to create a home that took up very little space horizontally, that was crammed up in between other residential buildings, but that basked in natural daylight nonetheless. The design studio took care of the problem by putting in no windows whatsoever, but replacing them with the 700 square meters of 29 skylights. The home is located in a sort of urban valley and surrounded by detached homes, as well as typical 10-storey blocks of flats. The family with two children that decided to set up home here wanted to be mindful of the site’s specifics but under no circumstances would they go deprived of natural light.
The building’s structure is as simple as its main design features. Basically, it’s a grid with a single high-ceiling room on top. That single room, however, hosts a bedroom, the children’s room and a study, protected from the rest of the space with fittings nearly half the height of the ceiling. The wonderful skylights are covered in curved acrylic plates, to soften and diffuse the downpour of natural light. There is an empty space between the plates and skylight itself, which allows hot air to be released during the summer, to avoid overheating. In winter, the same space stores the warm air and acts as a thermal buffer between indoors and outdoors.