Hosts: Yoshioka-Bunko Foundation  Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

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December 27, 2016
Open this competition website.


The theme of this competition is House of Dimensions. Imagine, for a moment, a new type of house through the perspective of its dimensions.*
The size of a house represents many things: the assets of the owner, for example, or a set of values that this person harbors in relation to the house. Some people think that the bigger a house is, the better, while others prize a certain aesthetic that can be found within a smaller dwelling. The standard dimensions of a house also differ according to the country and region. When a Japanese person goes overseas, he or she is astonished to find that houses there are twice as big. Or, sometimes the most surprising thing about visiting older, historical houses is their size. It is not difficult to find a house – whether old, new, in Japan or abroad – that is bigger even than the public buildings we know today. People tend to lump all of these issues together and talk about the size of houses in terms of “residential scale.” In fact, however, the dimensions of a house are relative: they are deeply rooted in the society, culture, and history of each place.
What I’ve written above is related to the size of a house. But the theme for this competition is not “size of a house,” but “a house of dimensions.” In other words, what is required is not simply to propose a size of house that one has never seen before: to attempt to make a house merely gigantic, or minuscule. This would be completely dull, and without any interest whatsoever. As previously mentioned, the dimensions of a house are in fact a relative matter – the settings and parameters, once they have been decided, would produce any number of extreme cases. In a sense, what is required here is to design a house using only their dimensions.
I would like participants to rethink about new possibilities surrounding the dimensions of physical space, such as width, depth, and height – or perhaps sets of various dimensions that have been completely neglected in the field of residential design up until now. Be free, and bold, in your imaginings!
I look forward to seeing your proposals for new houses that challenge the very notion of dimensions.

Go Hasegawa

*Japanese title of this competition is 大きさの住宅 (ookisa-no jutaku). The connotation of the word 大きさ (ookisa) is ambiguous, referring to largeness (or smallness) of an area, width, volume, weight, scope, power, number, age… The closest translation in English would be “dimension”.