This residence is located in the residential area called Denenchofu, which is about 12 miles to the west of the center of Tokyo. This area was developed about 90 years ago, based on the ideas of Eiichi Shibuzawa — to build a garden city on the hill blessed with gentle breezes and abundant vegetation. To maintain the philosophy of this environmental formation, rules for the conservation of green — stricter than other residential areas of Tokyo — were stipulated, such as requiring houses to be set back 6 feet from the roads. These rules have continued to be observed to this day.
The ground of this residential site is located above the retaining wall of Shannon stones, built bordering the road. Its east side faces rows of cherry trees with branches spreading out far and wide. The design was executed in such a way as to make the best of the special characteristics of this site.
To begin with, we built an L-shaped wall with rounded corners, one that reflected the shape of the Shannon stones that bordered the road. On this wall we opened a large window to capture the scenery of the rows of cherry trees. Then, we created a long, narrow well-hole above the living room that followed along this L-shaped wall. And finally, we made a skylight above this well-hole, and opened on each of the two ends of the wall a "slit" for ventilation with a height equivalent to two floors.
The house fully captures and embraces the beautiful green surroundings.