Architects: APOLLO Architects & Associates
Location: Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
Area: 102.13 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa
From the architect. A client for a house, of which I designed and supervised eight years ago, got married and bought a small lot near Tokyo Skytree, which is located in a place with a downtown atmosphere. Due to difficulty of construction within the small narrow site at the end of a narrow path, a wooden construction was chosen. Soft, dark brown Galvanized steel exterior walls create a Japanese impression, and the house naturally blends into the old neighborhood.
By using glass walls on the street side, indoor views include the surrounding environment. The ceilings with exposed joists and the see-through stairs are lit up at night, and the exterior appears as a tower of light. In addition to the large opening on the facade, the high window on the penthouse provides sufficient light to the interior, and these do not make one feel that the house is in a high density residential area.
Behind the large entrance earth floor, a small multipurpose space that can be used as a reception room was made. By sitting on the edge of the intermediate space, a sense of unity with the entrance hall can be felt, and this reminds us of good old Japanese houses. For the family room on the second floor, instead of chairs or a sofa, a hori-gotatsu (a sunken area for sitting around a built-in table) style table was designed where people can relax while enjoying the gorgeous view of Tokyo Skytree.
A large U-shaped open kitchen allows the couple to cook authentic dishes together, and to welcome many guests. A step was made between the kitchen and the family room in order to add an accent and a rhythm to the small space, and indirect lighting creates an unusual impression. For the busy couple, the 'small cosmos' that enables them to be their natural selves is the exact ideal for their desired small house.