Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
2 Houses in Tokyo, Japan by Cheungvogl
June 18th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Cheungvogl
Looking out, seeing people come and go while trees are standing still, witnessing the change of scenery season after season. Street poles spanning across the narrowest allies, providing mysterious connections between houses. Window view becomes an extension to the outside world. It measures time quietly.
The two houses, standing side by side, related and yet separated. Its outline traces back years of history within the context. Simple detailing, rough concrete and aged timber are elements that tie the two houses together. Within them, store calmness.
Inside the house, the connection to the outside is reduced down to two linear courtyards. Framing ‘the tree’ standing on a sheet of white gravel, absence from the city’s influence, quietly documenting time. Contrary to the ground floor, the pitched roof is a small space enclosing the stair leading to an undefined open room – the roof itself. Three meter above ground, the city skyline seems almost tangible. Looking back, ‘the tree’ – is standing still.
2 houses in Tokyo is a private development that consists of 2 almost identical houses, occupying 2 identical plots. House 2a is to be occupied by the client, a Japanese-German couple, based in Tokyo. House 2b is for sale. The client’s requirements are clear.
Calm, but not sterile.
The concrete functions as thermal masses, which store energy, chilling the spaces in the warm seasons, whereas warming the interior in winter. The effect is supported by the introduction of chilled/heated slabs, to activate the thermal masses by water radiation. No further heating or air conditioning is needed and the energy effort to maintain a comfortable living climate is reduced to a minimum. Further, the open plan allows cross ventilation throughout the entire building.
By the choice of materials like fair-face in-situ and pre-cast concrete, industrial finished flooring and local construction techniques with simple details, the project stays under budget. This opens up opportunities to custom design furniture pieces as prototypes for House 2a, such as the kitchen unit, the dining table, the courtyard bench and the floor-sitting-couch.