The site is in Nishioji – hachijo, Kyoto. The project consists of 11 housing units. Designed to be conceived as one big house the units are covered with a wall punctuated with holes. The shape of the holes makes references to the tree, its trunk, leaves, roots and bulbs and also as clouds floating over the trees. A hollow concrete shaped cave is created with filtering the light, and sunbeams through the ‘trees’.
The entrance to the house is made through the root carved into the center of the front wall.
The inner path connects the streets to the gardens and the gardens to the units.
The plot was once the site of NIshihachijo-palace, which was the residence of a hero of the Japanese classical tragedy, “Tale of Heike.” It was a stage of rise and fall of a clan in the 12th century. Such an old and sad memory is cherished and still told among the people of this neighborhood. The idea of an ‘immortal tree’ was used to design a building with an intense and massive form with a tint of movement.
What does the name Saitan mean? Tan is the color of the shrine gates, vermilion. It is also the color of pale red granite stone. Vermilion will not be weathered. It is said that vermillion is a sacred colour that was applied on serving dishes and bow and arrow to make them holy. Sai means variety of beautiful colors that make something more attractive.