WAN 21 for 21 Award-winning practice Architects Atelier Ryo Abe have shared their latest completed project with WAN - an unusual private residence is located in Meguro, Tokyo. The following description was provided by the design studio:
At the corner of this old, centrally-located residential area, where mansions with gardens once stood, it is difficult to find continuity among the streets of close-set small homes that cover the now divided land. Yet inside each of these houses, one can discover common elements that reflect the life that is being led there - pilotis parking that occupies most of the ground floor levels, a nominal entrance, modest green plants near site boundaries, windows and veranda as accents for the facade, house-shapes from roof trusses, etc.
Restructuring these elements will create a house that is similar to the profile of this street corner. I wanted to create an environment where scenes of life are generated both inside and outside of this profile ('perfil').
Eight steel pillars are driven into the underground supporting foundation, with raft-shaped steel beams that are joined over the pillars to build a steel framework. Like a tree growing from the ground, a steel plate structured core was positioned at the center of the house, where functions like storage and bedrooms are layered to structure both the lifestyles of the inhabitants and the architecture of the spaces.
The raw steel, which will change slowly over time, is treated as something that exists close to the physical bodies of the residents. Other interior finishes are constructed using natural materials too such as wooden boards and stucco, with ‘rough’ and ‘uneven’ characteristics which create a spatial texture that speaks to the residents’ sensibility.
The sanitary area at the top of the core creates an interior view with numerous house-shaped ceilings. The outer shell is punctured with a large house-shaped opening towards the city, creating a space with ambiguous interior/exterior characteristics. The spatial experience of this area is further amplified by the approach, which has been positioned to provide enough room from the north side boundary, and by pushing the entire house closer to the east and south street boundaries.
Aspects of the city overlay the scenes of life indoors, and the life spent inside are exposed as part of the city. Direct and indirect lighting from the openings and the top-light affect the spatial texture by the hour. The house is designed as a ‘perfil’ that provokes the sensibilities of city life - where conversations between the house and the residents are born in moments when the 'heart' senses the phenomena revealed in this space, faster than the mind is able to process it.
Unified experiences of life and the city are created around every house, which gradually integrate and replace the streets with a new and living cityscape. My aim is to integrate the city's ‘perfil’ which is the origin of this change.