Architects: LEVEL Architects
Location: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, Japan
Site Area: 87.98 sqm
Area: 149.16 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Kojima Junji
From the architect. The owners of this house, a young married couple, made a special request in regards to the design of their house, located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Shibuya ward. They wanted both a skateboard park and a piano rehearsal room to reflect their own individual interests.
There was no need for a car park on the site, so to take advantage of space a private entrance courtyard was designed. The sliding glass panels of the first floor open up onto this enclosed area and allows for the workshop and studio to expand outwards. The studio has a skateboard bowl imbedded into the floor with multiple angles for plenty of different interaction.
The piano room, located at the back of the studio, is raised about 2 feet from the ground to help with the sound-proofing of the room as well as creating an inherent stage performance space. When the doors open up onto the studio, the expanded space with the bowl transform into guest seating and completely changes the atmosphere from a mere practice room to a public concert hall.
The main living and dining space utilizes a similar concept of half-level changes to both separate and combine programs across the second story. Ceiling height difference and material difference emphasizes and creates the boundary for the rooms. Another form of connecting the spaces throughout the entire house was to have light be present throughout the entire residence. To accomplish this a large light fixture was installed into the ceiling of the staircase, flooding it with light which not only spills onto all the different levels, but reaches all the way to the first floor as well.
The top level is an all-private Master Suite. In order to create that break from the lower levels, the scale of the materials has been increased. The many overlapping layers of the floorboards create an ambiguous break between the rooms. This gradual transition from room to room throughout the entire floor creates a more open feel to the suite level. Materialistically, both old and new floorboards are utilized. The purpose is not to have each material contained to its space, but to have them spread out past those boundaries to emphasize the cohesiveness of the entire floor. The balcony, imagined as an interior garden, is not seen as a transition space, but more a space for pause, in conjunction with the bathroom or the bedroom. It is the area most disconnected from the rest of the suite materialistically, without the overlapping and bleeding of boundaries, and so is treated as the resting spot of the top floor.