Two generations live in this three-storied wooden house located in a Tokyo residential area. The site
corresponds to a 4.7 m wide × 16.5 m long fringe of the land where the owner’s parents lived.
Furthermore, the site is enclosed by buildings on three sides while its northern side abuts directly on the
street. The layout was designed to alleviate the impression of narrowness of the frontage in as much as
possible and make the best use of the site’s conditions within the maximum volume allowed by setback
restrictions. To minimize pressure from the corridor on the frontage path we devised a basic plan that
placed the entrance and stairs at the center while the bedroom and public areas are divided on a
Taking into account the fact that the occupants had many belongings, we incorporated a storage space
shaped like a box between the 1st and 2nd floors. Above the bedroom on the 2nd floor is a child’s room
that resembles a huge table. Each part is connected by stairs bearing a different design and the space
between some of the steps can be used for storage as well. The floor of the living room on the 2nd floor
extends into the bedroom where it serves as a desk. The toilet in the intermediary storage space
protrudes into the 2nd floor to act as a light-well and a table. The bay window in the wall connecting to the
ceiling can also become a bench, giving a sense of loftiness to the whole space. Boards placed between
the four sturdy walls passing through the 1st to 3rd floor become shelves and desks that make for a big
storage wall by using the structure of the house.
This random-looking composition resembles multifunctional stacking,thus can be seen as one large
piece of furniture. We implemented a cross-section design free from the hierarchical configuration of a
normal building, blurring the boundaries between building and furniture. From the fitting of the terrace to
the placement of the shelves and other minute details, we employed a construction method by
aggregation, whereby each architectural component becomes a piece of furniture. This makes the house
a vessel that allows for perpetual change to take place and leaves enough leeway for its inhabitants to
add their own touch after they move in.
Structural design: OHNO-JAPAN Co.,Ltd.
Facility design: MAXRAY (Lightings)
Fabric design: NUNO
Building site: Meguro Tokyo
Site area: 76.16m²
Total floor area: 104.50m²
Number of stories: 3F + Storage
Design period: 2009.11-2010.05
Construction period: 2010.06-11
Photographs are by Daici Ano.