A four-story building was demolished and replaced with a one-story, partially two-story wooden house on a site surrounded by small and medium-sized office buildings and condominiums in downtown Tokyo.
In the city center, where the population is declining, replacing the buildings with low-rise detached houses may be one way of the future of this area.
The site is surrounded by tall buildings, so I devised a way to let sunlight in and protect privacy, and created an interior space for the couple to live.
When walking along the front road, the short houses and plants seem to be an oasis in this bleak town.
建築写真撮影；中山保寛 Architectural photography by Yasuhiro Nakayama
A device to bring in sunlight from the south (left side) has taken shape. Across the courtyard, the first floor of the two-story building on the right receives sunlight, while the one-story building on the left gets southern light from the high side lights.
Next, we look in the direction of the stairs. There is a 180mm square cedar pillar supporting the roof and a steel staircase. The light from the high side window passes through the stairs. On the wall, there is a fixed shelf made of three-layer plywood along the stairs.
The roof is sloped from the high sidelights toward the courtyard, and the roof is lower in the courtyard area. The roof is lowered in the courtyard area to allow sunlight from the south (right side) to pour into the courtyard.
The kitchen is located on the right side. The high sidelights are set back from the road to the width of the kitchen, making it easier to let in light from the south.
The kitchen is made of three layers of larch plywood and covered with stainless steel. The small horizontal window shows the greenery of the small garden. Bicycles will be hung in the entrance dirt floor.
Detail of kitchen countertop and storage.
Continue towards the courtyard. Sunlight pours into the first-floor room on the north side across the courtyard.
Looking up at the staircase. Only the north wing of the building has two floors, but the roof of the staircase was designed to let sunlight into the courtyard while maintaining the connection between the first and second floors.
The triangular shape of the stairwell is the result of our efforts to create a large connection between the first and second floors, and to allow the sun to enter the courtyard for as long as possible.
CH16 Stairway detail 01
Details of the staircase steps and handrails.
CH16 Staircase detail 02
Both the staircase treads and the fixed shelves on the wall are made of three-layered cedar plywood, just like the furniture.