Architects: APOLLO Architects & Associates - Satoshi Kurosaki
Location: Bunkyo, Tokyo
Structure Engineers: Denbo Nakamura / Denkohbo
Facility Engineers: Zenei Shimada / Shimada Architects
Construction: Honma Construction
Date of Completion: 2012
Site Area: 55.00 sqm
Photographs: Koichi Torimura
The client, who works as a manager of a publishing company, wanted a life surrounded by his favorite books and other objects. He purchased a corner plot in a dense, mature residential area located in an uptown Tokyo neighborhood. As we had to maximize what we could accomplish with this project using the limited budget available, we decided to incorporate the wooden structural frame into the design, and treat the floor, ceiling and walls of the house as a complete, integrated entity – in short, a house where all the furniture and fixtures would already be built into it.
Storage space and shelving that made use of the structural wall covered the entire north face of the house, boldly spanning the first through third floors. The idea was to make the books on the shelves a part of the interior scheme of the home. The lauan (tropical plywood typically used in cosmetics) that was used for the walls and furniture has a delicate appearance, while the natural color spotting gives one the impression of an unfinished wood surface.
Natural light streams into the house through the randomly placed windows and skylight, creating an exquisite contrast to the slightly dim interior. The right amount of shadow is a necessary complement to the beauty of light, after all.
While the first floor houses individual rooms, the second storey features a spacious stairwell, while the third floor consists of a single, large space. The floor, walls and ceiling all feature similar wood finishes, resulting in a continuous space that seems to envelop the inhabitants in a cozy, cave-like environment.
The red facade, which draws its inspiration from the red entrance gate of nearby Tokyo University, blends effortlessly into its green, leafy surroundings. Despite the fact that this was a newly constructed home, ROUGE manages to create the impression that it has already been a part of this neighborhood for some time – something that was achieved thanks to a rational balance emerging out the project’s budget constraints, legal restrictions, and the humility of the client.