Japanese practice Moriyoshi Naotake Atelier was selected to bring a couple’s dream home to life in Tokyo‘s Meguro district. The project involved several key objectives, such as maximizing the stunning panoramic vistas offered by the gently sloping site and incorporating separate workspaces for both individuals. Additionally, creating tranquil spaces for relaxation and accommodating guests were essential considerations. Moreover, the clients aimed to infuse each floor with its own unique atmosphere, adding another layer of complexity to the design process.
To accommodate the desired volume, three floors were deemed necessary. However, due to legal restrictions on constructing above-ground structures, a semi-basement level was incorporated that rested slightly below road level. This ingenious design allowed for two stories above ground while still achieving the architectural vision. Conscientiously dividing each layer according to its intended function, corridors and stairs seamlessly connected them.
The basement level boasts an entrance area capable of accommodating multiple hobby bicycles and serves as a hub where the husband frequently spends his time. Despite being partially underground, careful consideration was given to ensure an abundance of natural light and ventilation through strategically placed high-side lights. To add visual interest and depth, certain walls and ceilings were constructed using reinforced concrete materials that proudly showcase the raw color and texture inherent in concrete craftsmanship.
The house is uniquely designed with a combination of wood and wide hallways. On the first floor, you’ll find bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, and a dedicated space for the wife. The hallway features a large window at the end to create a serene spot to enjoy the surrounding scenery. This level is primarily used by the wife for extended periods.
In contrast, the second floor offers an open and bright space with large windows and a spacious terrace. It features an open living/dining area with a sloped ceiling. The terrace seamlessly extends from the main room, offering additional space and creating a cohesive atmosphere. Overall, this three-story house boasts distinct functions and atmospheres on each floor.
Remote work has become increasingly common in recent years, necessitating the need for private rooms. In urban areas with limited space, one solution is to stack private rooms on top of each other and allocate different functions to each layer. This creates a spatial configuration similar to that of a department store. However, instead of completely separating each layer, it is essential for a house to maintain a sense of connection and allow for interaction between spaces. Staircases and corridors should be more than just passageways; they should have their own distinctive character.
By designing spacious corridors and incorporating open steel-framed stairs that allow light from upper floors to filter through, as well as creating inviting depths in the first-floor corridors that serve as relaxing spaces, the overall environment becomes more than just a collection of independent rooms. It transforms into a comfortable living space where everything is subtly interconnected, resulting in an organic whole.