make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend

 

The Circus fosters a seamless cohabitation between humans and automobiles

Designed by Tokyo-based CUBO Design Architect, the whimsical Japanese vacation home resembles a circus tent, fostering seamless interaction between humans and vehicles.

by Shivangi BuchPublished on : May 22, 2023

Embracing the spirit of Japanese origami-inspired architecture and exuding simplicity, boldness and playful elegance with The Circus vacation home in Chiba, Japan, is Tokyo-based CUBO Design Architect. Designed by Hitoshi Saruta, the residential architecture defies the conventional notions of a residence with a built-in garage that blurs the boundary between the two spaces. Driven by the client's aspiration for a flexible and versatile dwelling, a circular floor plan gives form to the space, resulting in no dead ends. As per the Japanese architect, this arrangement renders unrestricted movement for both individuals and vehicles on the first floor, while accommodating many layouts and providing "an extreme version of the impracticality often sought in vacation homes."

Replicating the form of a circus tent, the vacation home by CUBO Design Architect stands out in its context  | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
Replicating the form of a circus tent, the vacation home by CUBO Design Architect stands out in its context Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

Crafted around the concept of 'spending time with cars,' the residential design captures the interests of its car-loving occupant through its program and design. Saruta pushes the conventional boundaries of the residential space and creates a captivating scale of a circular space where humans and cars coexist.

Driveway leading to the home's entrance | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
Driveway leading to the home's entranceImage: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

Architecture inspired by origami often delves into the interaction between weightlessness and durability, as well as the ever-changing connection between solid elements and empty spaces. The Circus house by itself looks heavy on the outside—its expansive charcoal grey mass contrasting with the disparate pitched roof homes of the neighbourhood—but on the inside, the weighty narrative is disrupted by a floating and seemingly lightweight upper storey. The outer volume of the home presents itself in a similar way, in which a piece of paper is skillfully folded into a three-dimensional creation, converging art, architecture, and engineering.

The interiors feature a circular homogenous language | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
The interiors feature a circular homogenous language Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

Replicating the artistry of origami folds spatially, the wooden retreat takes the form of a circular tent, made of 24-sided volumes. As per the design team, the core that supports the tent has no posts but instead maintains its tension through slanted outer walls. To ensure affordability, Saruta largely employed wood within the interiors, in addition to using precut and precise steel hardware manufacturing.

The staircase wrapped around the core | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
The staircase wrapped around the core Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

There are three access points in the home. The south side doorway is the main entrance while the south-east one leads to the terrace space and the deck and the north-west ingress is used as a driveway for cars. The lower storey functions as a communal 'garage living' area designed as a domestic space for the users to spend time with cars. This space is arranged around the central core, with the flooring around this core recessed, demarcating the space for the bar and kitchen—a combined utilitarian pocket which also includes seating arranged in proximity to the living area.

  • Pedestrian entrance into the house is via a pebble walkway | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
    Pedestrian entrance into the house is via a pebble walkway Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL
  • Bath area on the lower storey | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
    Bath area on the lower storey Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

The lower storey also includes utilities like storage, cloakrooms, a laundry room, a bathroom and a sauna.

Within the suspended upper floor's open plan, a secluded retreat awaits. It is enclosed by the owner’s bedroom and a central jacuzzi with a waterfall shower. The floor is held up by cables connected to the radial wooden roof.

A view of the upper storey showing an open plan layout | The Circus | CUBO Design Architect | STIRworld
A view of the upper storey showing an open plan layout Image: Koji Fuji / TOREAL

The Circus house's design is such that the cars become the ultimate artefacts within the space. CUBO Design Architect’s team reveals that the client's spirited nature infused the project with a multitude of ideas, creating a space that buzzes with friends who share a common love for automobiles. The design program suggests a nostalgic feeling, taking one back to the delightful recollections of constructing hidden retreats during childhood on vacant plots—a space evoking those carefree and joyous moments spent building secret hideouts.

Previous Japanese homes published on STIR include Tan Yamanouchi's A Japanese Manga Artist’s House in Tokyo; a reflective riverside rental villa dubbed Daichi Isumi in Chiba Prefecture by Suppose Design Office; a repurposed 60-year-old wooden home in Gunma Prefecture called the K/door House by architect Yutarou Ohta; and The Takamine Cho House as a subdued sanctuary in Japanese masonry in the city of Nagoya by Tomoaki Uno Architects.

What do you think?

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
4576,4639,4725,4670,4550

make your fridays matter

SUBSCRIBE
This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE