Humble and simple, two near-identical houses sit side by side in the Tokyo suburbs
2 houses in Tokyo is a private development that consists of 2 almost identical houses, occupying 2 identical plots. House 2a is to be occupied by the client, a Japanese-German couple, based in Tokyo. House 2b is for sale. The client's requirements are clear: Calm, but not sterile. Humble, and yet unexpected. Economical, nothing extravagant. And open space with flexible floor plans including a space to contemplate.
By the choice of materials like fair-face in-situ and pre-cast concrete, industrial finished flooring and local construction techniques with simple details, the project stays under budget. This opens up opportunities to custom design furniture pieces as prototypes for House 2a, such as the kitchen unit, the dining table, the courtyard bench and the floor-sitting-couch.
Cheungvogl, a young international, Hong Kong-based architectural practice founded in 2008, describe the project:
"The two houses, standing side by side, related and yet separated. Its outline traces back years of history within the context. Simple detailing, rough concrete and aged timber are elements that tie the two houses together. Within them, store calmness.
"Inside the house, the connection to the outside is reduced down to two linear courtyards. Framing 'the tree' standing on a sheet of white gravel, absence from the city's influence, quietly documenting time. Contrary to the ground floor, the pitched roof is a small space enclosing the stair leading to an undefined open room - the roof itself. Three meter above ground, the city skyline seems almost tangible. Looking back, 'the tree' - is standing still."