a+u Architecture and Urbanism Magazine

Erika Nakagawa Momoyama House

In a corner of an old residential development cut out of a hill, a second residence for the client away from their home in the center of Tokyo. It also can function as a guest house. On the site there were a number of existing elements, such reinforcing walls, vegetation, natural rocks and fragments of a tiled concrete wall likely part of an earlier house. Taking these as valuable inherited history, the design made use of these existing elements in their entirety. Understanding that both houses and the neighborhood are made of collections of materials, the architect aimed to build “an environment in which the house and the town can co-exist” by mixing together all sorts of materials.

The design responds to the topography and surrounding environment by using the existing gates, walls, vegetation and vegetation as architectural materials, while also placing a large roof over the entire site.

Under the large roof stand together old and new necessary materials from the lives of their respective inhabitants. Also, in the 4.53-meter-high one-room space, areas are designated by layering columns, glass panes and furniture offset from each other, creating a sense of openness expanding from the interior to the exterior surrounding environment.

In the morning, the interior is brightly lit by the sun reflecting off the sea on the south side and hitting the inside of the roof. The surrounding hills and ocean can be seen from in between the furniture and the roof, blending in as part of the gardens.

The tops of the columns are pin-joined with flat bars extending from below the roof, using not only the columns below the roof but also those outside structural elements. Also, the texture of the concrete of the building forms continuity with the existing walls.

Adding to existing vegetation inside the wall, the verdant garden was created taking the cherries and other trees from beyond the wall as borrowed landscape. Also, the existing wall and rear entrance gate are made to fit in with the new building.