Text description provided by the architects. The client's family owns this land in this residential district over a hundred years. Their successive houses have always been a major scenery, attractive in this town. When the client decided to replace the last house made of wood with a new apartment building made of reinforced concrete structures, the client naturally hoped it be a design which would contribute to the townscape as same as the design of the previous houses had done on this site. The previous houses shared an unceasing inspiration and developed a tradition of using red bricks for the boundary walls and having a beautiful Japanese garden. We decided to continue the tradition and contribute our work to the history of the site.
The two approaches are newly made of red bricks, inspiration of which came from the existed garden with beautiful moss at the north corner of the site. The moss garden is visible from the street so that people can enjoy it by walking towards. The two approaches give attractive viewpoints to passersby on the street. The building walls are finished with thin white tiles. A small scale of the tiles on the large walls draws an impression fit appropriately to the scale of the street in this residential district. As a result the impression of this building becomes rather a large residence than a typical apartment building. The exterior lighting at night is modest and constrained in order to make a mood that keeps a high quality and blends well into the atmosphere of the residential street.
Each entrance of all the apartment units is first connected to what we call an 'open room.' The 'open rooms' have windows to get the natural light and wind from outside. For some of the windows are not covered with glass, the 'open rooms' are ambiguous by exploring spatial relationships between the interior and the exterior. It is a free space for its inhabitant to play around and/or utilize. Spatial continuity is made between the 'open room' and the living room by applying a same kind of finishes respectively to the floor, the walls and the ceiling. There are various sizes and shapes of the 'open rooms.'
Lighting fixtures have not been installed in the living space, but instead the 'open rooms' work as lighting boxes. LED is used with the lighting fixtures in the 'open room' and they are invisible from the living space. The indirect light draws a warm and cozy atmosphere into the living rooms.