Montblanc House / Studio Velocity

Architects: Studio Velocity
Year: 2009
Photographs: Kentaro Kurihara
City: Okazaki
Country: Japan

Montblanc House, a residential building with a small beauty shop designed by Studio Velocity in Okazaki, Japan, features a unique open-space design on a tightly enclosed site. Completed in 2009, it incorporates a continuous exterior space under a large inclined roof with five large openings, allowing natural light, air, and scenic views. This design creates a diverse range of “exterior” experiences, offering privacy from neighboring houses while maintaining a sense of openness.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

Montblanc House features a small beauty shop on the first floor and living space for a family of four: the couple running the shop, their three-year-old daughter, and their newborn.

The site, surrounded by neighboring houses on three sides, is in a quiet residential area. Most nearby houses have only two stories, allowing views of distant mountains.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

The challenge was to create an open space within this enclosed site. The building has a gable house shape with a continuous exterior space from the first to the third floor under a large inclined roof. Five large openings in the roof provide natural light, air, and scenic views.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

The windows, designed as “voids” without sashes, differ significantly from those of neighboring houses, creating a unique scale that makes the area feel as if it has been enlarged.

Walking in this space evokes the sensation of being gently embraced by the surroundings, similar to walking in a forest. The design replicates the feeling of an interior-like space, distinct from urban environments or open skies.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

The path through the house, where the wind rustles leaves, birds sing, and creatures move quietly, offers a similar experience to finding a view of the city or the sky through a forest thicket.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

This project aims to create such experiences within a crowded residential area. The semi-exterior spaces connected by the large luminous roof provide various “outside” encounters as one moves through the house, offering privacy while maintaining a connection to the surrounding environment.

Montblanc house / studio velocity

The design leverages the site’s angles and heights to create diverse exterior experiences, hiding views from neighboring houses while maintaining a sense of their presence.

Montblanc house / studio velocity
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Okazaki, Aichi, Japan

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