House in SouthMinoh / FujiwaraMuro Architects
- Region :
Manufacturers: Koizumi, lilycolor, Nissin-EX
Shintaro Fujiwara, Yoshio Muro
Text description provided by the architects. The clients, a couple with children, originally came to our practice with a request to renovate a partner’s childhood home to accommodate two households, theirs and their parents. However, halfway through the planning process, they decided instead to look for a new property and build a single-family residence.
Our firm participated in the field research. Although the clients weren’t looking in a specific area, they decided to focus near the husband’s workplace and eventually found this triangular site on a quiet residential street. Although the street is only about two meters wide, barely wide enough for a car to drive through, the family liked the atmosphere and the location. So we asked a construction company we knew if it was possible to build a house there. After learning that it would take extra work but was doable, we started designing the house.
The site is in a neighborhood where strict building codes limit building height, eave height and other architectural elements. We started by considering the possibilities of design and use of the external form which resulted from the obedience to these various codes. This led us to a structure resembling stacked blocks. The lack of tall walls makes the building less overwhelming on the street, and the way its appearance changes as you walk adds interest. Partly to ensure privacy, we opted for an exterior design comprised entirely of white blocks, with windows concealed from the street.
The two-story interior features an entryway, master bedroom, children’s bedrooms, and bathroom downstairs, and a living room, dining room, and kitchen upstairs. The bedrooms face the spacious entrance, with high ceilings in the children’s rooms to accommodate lofts. Louvered floors in part of the floor allow visibility between levels. The parts of the second floor facing the street, whose strange shapes result from the height limitations, are effectively used as balconies visually linked to the interior spaces. The blocky exterior form carries over to the interior spaces, creating a unified interior and exterior design.