This Tokyo residence, crafted by IGArchitects, redefines urban living with its permeable concrete design. Unlike conventional homes, this innovative creation features a single, expansive area that blurs the lines between work and personal life. The married couple who commissioned the project sought a space where they could work from anywhere and feel each other’s presence throughout the house. To accommodate their lifestyle, the architects opted for a spacious layout that encourages interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces. The resulting frame is both sturdy and flexible, allowing for a liberating way of life.
The north side wall of the building has been intentionally skewed, resulting in a unique space that seamlessly connects to the adjacent vacant site. Throughout the building, the heights and depths of each floor have been carefully adjusted along this wall. Despite the misalignment of the three walls and seven floor slabs, which possess varying heights and depths, they harmoniously overlap without any disruption to their top and bottom ends. This innovative structural design creates captivating openings that allow an abundance of natural light and refreshing breezes to permeate the interior, while ensuring privacy by preventing views into neighboring houses.
On the contrary, the south side lacks any openings, effectively shielding the interior from intense sunlight. Nevertheless, natural light gracefully filters in throughout the day from the north side wall, imbuing the space with a delightful sense of time, weather, and seasonal changes.
Moving towards the rear of the house, where the openings are more distant, one will find the service functions such as the kitchen and bathroom thoughtfully positioned. In contrast, as one approaches the front road, the openings gradually widen and expand, bringing the outside world closer. Despite being situated in the heart of a bustling city, the site itself does not offer ample space to create a garden or balcony. However, this architectural masterpiece compensates for this limitation by incorporating large openings that, when fully opened, transform the interior into a serene oasis reminiscent of a garden or balcony.
The functionality of the floors is not fully realized when used individually due to their small size. However, their true potential is revealed when they are combined with other displaced floors. These floors can transform into various objects such as seats, tables, shelves, and even ceilings. There is no specific area in the house that serves a dedicated purpose, as the entire space is designed with a relationship of misaligned floors.
As one enters through the front door and proceeds upwards, there is a gradual shift in the spatial arrangement, creating a sense of progression. By incorporating human-scaled stairs and furniture into a robust and expansive structure made of reinforced concrete, the building not only accommodates human use but also aims to provide a luxurious experience that surpasses mere functionality.
By utilizing an offsetting wall and varying floor heights, a unique and interactive structure has been created. Despite a total floor area of only 60m2, the resulting openness appears much greater. This single room dwelling was born out of the necessity of city living on a small site. The coexistence of distant and close elements is both separate and repetitive, forming a distinct relationship that has been incorporated into the very structure of the home.