061 - Komorebi Hut

Marco Tanzilli & Claudia Ricciardi

Rome, Italy




“Between the world and the word
are three small shapes,
the signs for ‘‘tree,’’ ‘‘escape,’’ and ‘‘sun.’’

I watch how the light leaks through them,
casting a shade in both directions
in the late year, on the russet path

barred with the shadows of trees.
I love how it exults, like any escapee
on the lake in slow reflective waves,

in radiant bands ascending the birch trunks
according to some unknown frequency,
and in the cormorant extending his wet wings to it

in a messianic gesture,
as if dazzled to absolute
by the word and the world’s beauty. ”

Komorebi - Caitriona O'Reilly



Caitriona O'Reilly says that when as a child, she loved reading the dictionary in search of the precise words for everything. Reading this poem, she felt that wonder again — how the language of poetry can move us closer to naming what is ineffable. Infact, KOMOREBI is one of the thirty untranslatable words. This Japanese word means: “sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees”. A perfect name to explain our project. Because the Komorebi Hut investigates the relationship with the surrounding environment, thanks to autochthonous materials, natural ventilation and the light of the forest. Using the latter as a glue between the two realities.

But how can a minimum housing unit clear the air?

Many modern architects tried to understand how to optimize the minumum housing unit, just think about Le Corbusier's Cabanon or the recent Renzo Piano's Diogene. There have been different approaches adopted during the years, from placing a human in the center of the project, to using new technologies, to the relationship between architecture and nature.
Our project is divided in three different approaches, essential to the context: Form, Ventilation and Light. These three elements are fondamental for having a building that clears the air because they have a main purpose: Energy efficency.

The first one examines shape, materials and the permeability of the envelope. The project, infact, consists in two very simple and important design steps: the lifting and the inclination. The first step consists in lifting the building from the ground, in order to ensure protection from humidity and also from the animals of the underbrush. The second step is the inclination of the two biggest facades, in order to obtain a better Venturi effect that allows the air to flow inside the building.

This is directly releted to the second approch of the Komorebi Hut -- Ventilation. This approach is all about the air flow circulation to obtain an optimal thermal condition. Infact, air-flow is integral to the way our bodies regulate heat. The Komorebi Hut uses this idea to ensure the indoor comfort in the warm days. Viceversa, in the cold season, closing the rooftop, the hot air remains inside the hut to ensure thermal comfort.

The last approch is the light. It is about the different ways to obtain the energy in the forest. The sun energy is one of the most important resources for the Komorebi Hut. A small solar pannel provides all the electrical energy that the hut requires to allow for illumination. Inside the illumination is achieved by using led strips, perfect to reduce the energy consumption, that will be installed on the perimeter of the small openings of the rooftop. The porch will be illuminated thanks to other leds which will be installed along the frame of the hut to make it more visibile at night time.

In conclusion the Komorebi Hut is a perfect way to became one with nature, in a sustainable and comfortable way. The project, infact, connects precisely these three aspects, combining them in a evocative space.

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