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The site is located at Aoyama in Minato ward, which is an area residential and commercial uses are mixed in Tokyo. The client couple sought to build a housing complex on the back lot of a dead end street, and earn their livings by renting a part of it. The plan was to provide an office for rent on the basement floor and a part of the first floor. The residential space for the owner is allocated on the second and the third floor.
The facade is kept simple as office architecture. The reinforced concrete wall constructed with Japanese cedar boards for form, the louver made of hot-dip galvanizing with zinc phosphate coat, and the half-mirror glass are combined to give a refined expression. The office space on the basement floor is filled with diffused light through the areaway. The first floor with a huge glass window functions as a gallery open to the street in front.
The dog-leg staircase penetrates through the center of the building. The continuity from the entrance hall of the first floor to the penthouse allows the natural light to pour into the interior space through the stairwell.
The symbol tree on the south courtyard may be viewed from the main bedroom and the guest room on the second floor. This makes it possible to have a contact with the nature while staying in the city. The living room and the kitchen on the west, and the dining area with a library on the east of the second floor are placed continuously in an open space, so the family can feel each others’ presence and enjoy the rhythm of everyday life.
The space is loosely divided by the structural wall along the staircase in the center. This gives the flow to the space, and creates an intimate relationship while keeping a moderate distance. The rooftop, covered with wood deck, offers a panoramic view of the neighborhood. It serves as an outdoor living room where the family can enjoy BBQ and other activities.
Location: Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan
Type: Residential – Houses – Offices
Site Area: 128.22m2 – Total Floor Area : 285.47m2
Architects: APOLLO Architects & Associates
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa