Hitoshi Saruta of Cubo design architect creates a conceptual circular vacation house reminiscent of the circus tents, in Chiba, Japan, where “spending time with cars” is the concept intended as a fun retreat for a car-loving client and friends.
In contrast to a typical house with a built-in garage, the aim here was to blur the boundaries between people, cars, and rooms in a relaxed environment.
The client’s desire for a house that could easily and flexibly be used in various ways gave rise to the circular plan.
Because the design has no dead-ends and allows people and cars to move freely throughout the first story, it accommodates many layouts while providing an extreme version of the “impracticality” often sought in vacation homes.
Inspired by a circus tent, the simple but bold structure is made up of a large 24-sided volume and an independent volume inside shaped like a large, round table that forms the second story.
The core that supports the tent has no posts, but instead maintains its tension through slanted outer walls.
The structure uses conventional construction materials to keep costs low, while advanced precut timber technology and precision steel hardware manufacturing technology enable the unusual form.
The first story is a “garage living” space shared by people and cars, with functionality concentrated in the core and outer rim.
The second story is a private space containing the owner’s bedroom and a central jacuzzi with a waterfall shower.
Viewed from below, the frame of the house evokes an open paper umbrella, an intentional reference to Japanese design.
The client has a playful personality and suggested many fun ideas that we incorporated throughout the house, and on weekends it is filled with car-loving friends.
Like a grown-up version of the secret hideouts we built on empty lots as children, the project was as much fun to design as it is to inhabit.
Project: The Circus
Architects: CUBO Design Architect
Lead Architect: Hitoshi Saruta
Structural Engineers: Masaki-lab
Landscape Design: CUBO design architect
Photographers: Koji Fujii / TOREAL