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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Oyamadai House in Tokyo, Japan by frontofficetokyo

May 17th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: frontofficetokyo

With a flag shaped site, bound on every side by close neighbors, the understandable instinct might be to step away from the city, retreat behind walls where privacy is better assured. The family that purchased the site saw instead a chance to be as open as possible, using the small degree of isolation as an opportunity to connect to the metropolis from a slight remove. Although the neighbors are close, the tendency in Tokyo is to reject the city and build closed walls, ironically allowing the family to take the opposite stance and open their home without loss of privacy. In this way the site is not unlike a clearing in the midst of a forest.

Approach from parking, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

  • Architects: frontofficetokyo
  • Project: Oyamadai House
  • Location: Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
  • Photography: Takumi Ota
  • Lead Architects: Will Galloway, Koen Klinkers, Misuzu Yoshikawa, Joris Berkhout
  • Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 120m2
  • Footprint: 64m2
  • Site: 165m2
  • Design: 2015
  • Completion Year: 2016

From street, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

The deck and landing for the stairs to the roof are oversized so the family can spread out in every direction during the day. On the ground floor a similar openness defines the plan. The concrete floor extends outwards and becomes a landscape, softened by an abstract form that blurs boundaries – not between inside and out, but between city and home. As megacities go, Tokyo is particularly suitable to this approach. Benign and accepting of individual expression, it affords access to sun, air, and space if the starting point is one of acceptance rather than rejection of the urban condition.

Garden space on the east side of the home, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Landscape on south – concrete and green space overlap, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

A small budget required that we built with wood, and as simply as possible. A wooden structure in a disaster prone area normally works against our ambitions, requiring substantial sheer walls or braces to resist earthquakes. To answer this need large X-shaped walls are placed at either end of the home. Acting like buttresses, the structure is set outside the plan without interfering with the desire for openness.

X – Landscape on south – concrete and green space overlap, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

X – north wall and x brace, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

The first floor and second floor are each treated as single rooms, with boxes holding bath and toilet working as rough dividers in the open plan. The height of the second floor was set so the family could see out to the river valley from their living room, looking over the roofs of their neighbors in the hilly site. Taking advantage of the 3 meter high ceilings on the first floor, a large long-term storage is hung from the ceiling, freeing up floor space for daily life. The storage defines the master bedroom and is incidentally used to hang a group of large doors that can close off the bath and the bedroom as needed.

Roof deck from the west, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Interior from entrance, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

From master bedroom to the entrance and childens room, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Childrens bedroom, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

X – stairs, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Second floor, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Second floor to kitchen, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

X – master bedroom from entrance, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Stairway landing to the roof, Image Courtesy © Takumi Ota

Ceremony for luck, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Timber frame 2, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Timber frame 3, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Final check with client, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Collection, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Models stacked, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Sketch – from deck in with tree, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Plan – 3f, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Sections – oyamadai house, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

Site and volume – oyamadai house, Image Courtesy © frontofficetokyo

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Categories: House, Residential

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