Sakura / Mount Fuji Architects Studio

© Ryota Atarashi

Architects: Mount Fuji Architects Studio
Location: Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
Site area: 131.41 sqm
Building area: 75.43 sqm
Total floor area: 279.58 sqm
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Ryota Atarashi

A home office for a couple planned in a residential neighborhood in Meguro.

The site is situated in an area where land costs are among the highest in Tokyo.The area is typically cluttered, like most residential areas in downtown Tokyo.It is hard to say that quality of living environment deserves the price of land.

© Ryota Atarashi

I felt that creating a better living environment was a top priority upon squeezing in yet another house into this neighborhood. What came to my mind were the two classic ‘Glass Houses’※ by Mies and Philip Johnson. The sense of freedom and openness that makes us want to walk naked inside these houses surely owes to the transparency of the glass itself, but it is the fact that the buildings are surrounded by a pleasant environment –the forest– that counts the most.Since ‘the forest’ itself already provides a comfortable living environment, it is left for the architecture to separate internal to external atmospheres with thin, transparent membranes.They clealy demonstrate that as long as there is an environment suitable for living, a ‘house’ is no more necessary.

© Ryota Atarashi
façade axo

What I looked to create here was a presence that would replace this ‘forest’.

More precisely, I attempted to generate a quality living environment by placing two large, swirled belt-shaped surfaces on the premises.The pair consists of self-standing walls measuring 7.5 m and 5 m high respectively, made of lace-like 3 mm thick that filters light like sunshine through foliage, with holes punched out in a floral pattern depicting cherry blossoms, a traditional Ise paper stencil pattern.

© Ryota Atarashi

As we make our way into the abstracted forest of cherry blossoms, we are greeted by an ‘environment filled with “anticipation” for a living comfort.’ There, nothing can be found that suggests a ‘setup’ of a ‘house‘. The place is a pure ‘living environment’ and is neither a symbol called ‘house’ nor a ‘residential area.’

A bright depth, beyond the reach of urbanism, is born in Tokyo.

Cite: "Sakura / Mount Fuji Architects Studio" 04 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Michael

    Beautiful detailing.
    The screen wall and the internal glazed facade are amazing.
    The tolerances in that glazed wall must be minute.
    Poor builder!!! They did an amazing job though.
    Would love to see this in real life.
    That night shot is pretty impressive too.

  • A Sphere

    termite’s heaven

  • igor

    Very nice, but what about sunligt. Can sameone explain to me what “sus” means (I know it is kind of composite material resistant to all weather conditions).

  • totot

    Excuse me but the parallel with the glass house doesn’t hold,from the photos it just looks like other modern tokyo houses, greatly detailed but claustrophobic, at least from a western side of “view”.

  • xirclebox

    Sakura / Mount Fuji Architects Studio /cc @feedly

  • ltv

    Im not that interested in the screens themselves, although I do appreciate the contemporary interpretation to the point and manufacturing of the traditional shoji screen. I do appreciate the spatial quality in such a small site. Thats well done!

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Sakura.

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  • Gatz

    Very nice!

  • arnold

    excelent work. a bit old, but very good. a house for a young couple or for single one.

    (interesting, what the owners will do, if they accidentally will have some chidren? where do they live in this house? yes, I understand, that japanese young people carefully plans they future and if they intend to have baby, they will built another new house, adapted to the bigger family).

    otherwise, this building is very and very good for 20-35(?) age people.

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  • sri

    very nice