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Shift House / Apollo Architects & Associates

  • Architects: Apollo Architects & Associates
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects: Apollo Architects & Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Kenta Masaki
  • Area: 257.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Masao Nishikawa

© Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa

From the architect. Surrounding the site in the outskirts of Tokyo is lush green and a slow-paced environment. The building was commissioned by a family composed of the husband who manages an insurance company, the wife who works as a patternmaker and their two children. It was planned as a SOHO, with a space for the yoga classes run by the wife added to the house.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

The distinguishing exterior consists of a wooden volume covered with a luminescent wall sitting on top of a base made of exposed concrete engrained with the texture of Japanese cedar.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

In sharp contrast to the exterior that is closed to the outside world, an inner courtyard pierces the center of the structure. With a hollow center, the house is easy walk around and allows for the presence of family members to be felt from anywhere. The symbolic tree in the courtyard plays a central role in sustaining the equilibrium of the architecture.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

On the ground floor, the living room and dining kitchen face each other across the courtyard while a sculptural staircase is positioned across the courtyard from the entrance. The staircase is symbolic in its presence and gives expansiveness to the spaces together with the courtyard.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

On the first floor, the multi-purpose room is used for yoga classes and for other activities, while small gardens are positioned around bedrooms providing light and openings.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

Incorporating an open-air garden within it, the house makes it possible to fully enjoy the Japanese four seasons. The contrast between the external and the internal will help to keep a fresh mind in everyday life.

© Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa
Cite:"Shift House / Apollo Architects & Associates" 17 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/103510/shift-house-apollo-architects-associates/>