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HERO: Week of 05.11

Status Report - HERO: Week of 05.11

Posted:May 11, 2014
Hirayama Residence

Ceilings and roofs have been added to the Hirayama Residence. Aside from a handful of details the building is pretty much done. The Japanese were likely one of the first to create drop-in ceilings that are independent from the roof structure. Each ceiling is framed to the particular room and changes height based on the size of the room. 8-mat rooms have higher ceilings than 4½-mat rooms.


Ceiling Boards

Creating the roof was a real intense workout. The building was divided into a number of rectangular bays, each of which was framed out individually with its own ridge and eaves. The style used is iri-moya (hipped gable roof) where there is a small gable at the end of each bay. This style made it easier to stitch the bays together than it would have been in the kiri-zuma (gabled roof) style and retains more character than the yose-mune (hipped roof) style.


Hipped Gable Roof

Once the framing members are up the roof is boarded and shingled with clay tiles. Unlike the convex tiles of Mediterranean roofs, Japanese tiles are concave with humps where they come together horizontally. Ridges and valleys are capped with special tiles and the endcaps of the ridges often finish with decorative tiles called onigawara to protect against leaks.


Clay Tiles

Where the veranda faces to the exterior of the house receives special treatment in the form of an additional hisashi (lean-to) roof. The projected veranda would not be protected by the main roof so this addition keeps the weather out of those locations.


Veranda Lean-to Roof

There are two more structures the residence needs. One is a wall with an entrance gate at the front of the house. The building may be remote, but a wall and gate serve as providing privacy and, more importantly, frame the approach to the residence. The other structure is a kura (storehouse). As Japanese residences are made of paper and wood, and as they have little built in storage, fireproof storehouses are erected nearby to protect valuables. They are usually two-storied and coated with thick plaster to keep fire at bay.


All images are unrendered, raw SketchUp models.

Nick Green (Nii-chan-sensei)