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.
Long Tall House in Tokyo, Japan by SPACESPACE
May 22nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: SPACESPACE
The site is located in a typical Japanese crowded residential area, just middle between two stations near to Shibuya. The house of a young married couple is on a strip of land subdivided for sale (about 4m*16m). It adjoins two paths at north and south sides, and locates on a very old retaining wall which runs along the north path and forms 3.5m height cliff. The path were too narrow to comply the current regulations, so we needed removing a part of the wall so that it could be widened.
The old wall was partially to be replaced with a new structure to firm periphery, so we tried to merge the house with it. Our structural adjustment to actual condition brought 2 basement stories which trace old topography older than the wall. The house got a link between two different ground levels and a profound continuity of it and surroundings.
The house has 5 stories. The lower 2 floors are made of RC to resist soil pressure. The upper 3 floors are made of wood for lightness and economy. The 1st floor has bed room, bath room, parking and others compactly. The 2nd floor has terrace, living and dining room and kitchen in a narrow (but airy) space responded distinctive shape of the plot. This house includes two buildings; one is like a long row house, the other is like a tall tower.
About the mobile window & wall:
The north facade has a large translucent window and the south facade has a aluminum wall, both of which slide “up and down” manually by counter weight mechanics. They have unusual mechanics because they were expected to be full open but have no spaces for usual motion, and their sizes have relations to the old retaining wall which is oversize in a normal residential area. They being open, the inside joins the outside dynamically, and the exterior changes dramatically.
About the built-in storage & sliding stairs: The house has a long room used for living, dining, and kitchen which is responding directly to distinctive narrow shape of the plot (about 4m*16m). We want this space to be with no partitions for full opening to two adjoining paths, so we set aseismatic walls to one side and to be used for a continuous “long storage”.
This space contains all belongings of the room such as kitchen, table wares, refrigerator, books, cleaner, audio-visual items and air conditioning units. This also contains a sliding stairs to a study room of the upper floor. Clients wanted storages to be memorable, so we give each space a different color to share memory between them. The white room will be colored diversely as they use storages.