Photo © Hiroyasu Sakaguchi AtoZ

House in Takadanobaba

Florian Busch Architects

Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
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Site Size: 1,121 square feet (plus 280-square-foot terrace)

Project Size: 1,649 square feet

Program: The clients desired as much light and sense of openness as possible in a tight site. Lodged between two buildings, the house is approximately 15 feet wide and 70 feet deep.

Solution: The architects decided against jamming a single mass into the constricted space. Instead, they stacked three rectangular concrete volumes and dressed them with floor-to-ceiling windows. The first floor contains a work space, guest area, and bathroom; the second, a sitting area, bath, and master bedroom. With a lounge, kitchen, and dining areas, the third floor connects to an outdoor terrace.

Like a “plant in pursuit of light,” the twisting volumes emphasize access to the outdoors. The structurally continuous floor-wall-ceiling frame forms a fold held together by slender steel columns. (The columns range in diameter from 3.15 inches on the first and second floor to 2.4 inches on the third.) The seismic forces are transmitted downward through the concrete fold, and lateral torsion is countered by this beams-become-columns-become-beams solution. The house was completed in December 2011.

Florian Busch Architects
Sakuragaoka-cho 14-10-312
Tokyo, 150-0031

January 2013
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