This single-family house is located on a site in a commercial area near a main road in Tokyo. Height restriction of the area is not strict therefore it is surrounded by buildings with various heights. The site is sandwiched between old two- storey house and five-storey apartment building. Our client requested us to design an ‘open’ house in this densely populated environment.
In order to avoid unnecessary exposure to public view, we interpret this site condition as a sort of ‘natural’ condition specific to the site. Standing on the empty lot and carefully observing ‘open’ spots around it, we begin to naturally envision the best location for courtyard and roof terrace, which are two important elements requested by the client. Bedrooms are located on the first floor, Living/Dining/Kitchen space on the second floor and loft space above kitchen. Locations of all openings are carefully worked out in section, so that they can open up towards the ‘open’ spots. Heights and locations of walls around courtyard and roof terrace are designed according to various specific factors of the site. In view of exterior factor we considered location of windows of surrounding buildings, location of the roof, and height from the ground. And in view of interior factors we considered view from inside, natural light, roof, ceiling inclination. We make sure that openings are placed at appropriate height and location so that they can open up the house towards outside while keeping privacy. Space and form of the house are decided in accordance with the client’s requests and the surrounding ‘nature’, without any arbitrary reasons. Walls are colored in black and white; basically exterior walls are painted black and interior walls white. And in some areas white interior walls extend outwards and meet black exterior walls, and in some areas white interior volumes are made visible from outside.