> about this project <
This urban residence for a single occupancy is situated in Yokohama City which is about one hour from Tokyo by train. Yokohama is the first port city opened to foreign trade after a long period of national seclusion in early-modern times. Yokohama has prospered as a window for Western cultures and as an industrial area. The coast of the city has now been redeveloped as a large commercial zone with skyscrapers standing side by side. The planned site for the residence is located in a quiet residential area which is separated from the cluster of high-rise buildings by a main street. Right in front of the site is a small hill where there was a government facility when the port was first opened. Now many culture and art facilities have gathered on the hill with a row of beautiful cherry trees lining a street, where people can relax and enjoy themselves. As the site is in "urban canyon", the challenge of this project was how to keep an individual's privacy while securing a rich image of space without compromising the benefit of convenience of an urban life.
The building site is a corner plot abutting east and south on the roads which is situated in a densely built-up area with buildings facing each other across the 4-meter wide road. Each of the buildings surrounding the site has no appropriate open space in its site with an inner building space only separated from outside by the use of a single wall. Since the planned site is also
space-challenged with a 7-by-8(m) area, it was designed with a focus on fully protecting privacy without compromising an urban feel and on creating a small but rich inner space.
The client wishes her residence to be a space like an atelier or a gallery where she can fully enjoy her hobby and a space for people to enjoy time together in addition to a normal residential function. Since the residence is for a single occupancy and each room need not be limited to a specific activity, a function and boundary of each room have been intentionally kept ambiguous while giving a distinctive character to each of them. To be more specific, along the border of
the site facing two roads, white exterior walls are placed with their height set at the same level of the height of the housing located in front. The openings of the wall are restricted to "urban void" such as a vacant lot or a junction of roads in order to secure privacy by avoiding eye contacts from outside. To compensate this, the top level of the residence is fully opened on the two sides facing the roads so that natural light prevail the entire space of the residence. The residence has five levels arranged in a spatially-scattered manner with slits formed among them so that each level interacts with each other through the slits. This arrangement makes it possible to see the sky from the lowest level through an opening on the top floor. Dwellingspaces have no
unnecessary partitions inside as the room will be used for multi-purpose functions and the internal space changes its shape vertically and horizontally in a continuous manner. Light, wind, music, scent, scenery and eye contacts freely intertwine and interact with each other between different levels, effectively creating a diversity of the place, proposing an unprecedented rich space, which is hard to realize in a conventional urban residence.
< overview >
building site : Yokohama City Kanagawa Prefecture Japan
area,district : commercial area, fire preventive district
principal use : residence（for one person）
kind of project : new construction
structure : box frame type reinforced concrete structure
number of stories : 3 stories
area site area : 61.59㎡
building area : 50.01㎡
total floor area : 135.87㎡
process : design April 1, 2005 ～ march 31, 2006
construction April 1, 2006 ～ october 31, 2006