House in Aihara

Tokyo, Japan
Photo © Future-scape Architects
Photo © Future-scape Architects
Architecten
Daigo Ishii + Future-scape Architects
Locatie
Tokyo, Japan
Jaar
2002
Verhalen
1-5 Stories

With a total floor area of 1,180 square meters, this house for a family of two parents and three children is small but not exceptionally so for Tokyo. Our aim was to design a comfortable home within limited space and budget.

The site has two levels: a road level and a ground level 1.3m above the road. We utilized this gap to create 7 staggered floors in the house. Each floor connects directly to the next, so compared with a typical layout, the house has a continuous flow. The split levels mean that residents can see two floors at once, giving them a sense of spaciousness. Residents can also look up to see the sky through the window of the floor just above where they are standing , which lends a feeling of visual and mental expansiveness to the house.

The vertical continuity of the space complicates communication as well. While in a standard house the direction of communication is horizontal, in this house, it is not only horizontal but also vertical. For example, it is common for the family’s young daughter to speak to her parents from above.

The exterior materials, including autoclaved lightweight concrete board and galvanized wire fencing, are very cheap and are common in the neighborhood, where most houses are reasonably priced. It is an application of the result of the field survey. The overall composition of the structure is also similar to that of surrounding buildings. However, since the way the materials are used and the simplicity of the form are unique, the house stands out as independent and subtly different from the typical poorly-designed structures around it.

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