1.House with Gardens
The house is wrapped in a bright metal facade that makes it seem compact. The garden spaces are integrated into the house like loggias, causing the interior and exterior spaces to fuse visually into a unity.
It is a compact house for a family of four.The stairwell is a crucial element: it does not simply provide access to the living spaces but also, at least between the living room and the kitchen, functions as space for playing, sitting, reading, or working. This area is even visible to passersby and neighbors, since, unlike the surrounding houses, Tread Machiya is open to the street and permits views into its living space. A terrace on the upper story, which can be reached from the kitchen via an exterior stairwell, provides another linking element between the surroundings and the living space.
----- Privacy and Publicness
1.House in Komae
The terrace, of all places, can be interpreted as the central part of the house. It is located about half a meter about the street level, which demarcates it from the public space and protects the living areas from direct views inward. It can be accessed from the ground via a French window or via a staircase from the semibasement. The lower floor receives natural light from skylights placed above the beds of the parents and the child, the bathroom, and the workspace.This house shows one possibility for creating exterior space in the densely populated city.
----- Steps and Layers
By contrast, the architect's placement of the uses is relatively rigorous: both the living spaces on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the upper floor occupy a quarter of the square floor plan,respectively. One exception is the bathroom, which could not be designed as an open space and hence is pushed, somewhat ashamed, into one of the corners of the upper floor. All the other rooms of the house-whether the entry, the kitchen, or the bedrooms-occupy more or less the same area. The floor covering on the ground floor is oak parquet; the architect chose a bright carpet for the upper floor. The white surfaces reflect the light and ensure the living spaces are pleasantly bright, despite relatively small windows.
2.Rectangle of Light
A suspended gallery provides the two children with a place to play in the living room; it can be reached by ladders or via the north-facing stairwell, which also provides access to the upper floor and its bedroom. The architect put the limited space to optimal use; for example, in the area around the stairs, the bathroom is located below them in the semibasement, and the landing as well as the small gallery that terminates the stair area above serve as workspaces. The architect placed the stairs slightly away from the wall, so that its users can sit on its treads and let their feet hang down as they work at the desks mounted in front of them. The natural light enters through a kind of addition the architect placed in front of the building on the south side. Light enters the interior through two vertical rectangular windows on the addition's short side. White surfaces reflect the brightness and immerse the rooms, which open generously toward this area, in a gentle light.
The conscious experience of bright and dark areas should be the focus for the occupants of the house. Designer does not therefore see the space, which extends the full vertical height of the building, as a substitute for a garden; he even hopes that it will be left unused, and thus remains solely a light catcher.
----- Beauty and Ephemerality
The house is accessed via a front yard facing the street to the north.
The designer opened the building upward; two large skylights, placed above the stairwell and a two-story patio, respectively, allow light vertically into the interior and provide an open view of the sky. Another light source is a provided by a slight shift in the two levels of the building. The upper story recedes on the east side slightly, so that the semibasement also receives light from above on one long side. Tanijiri placed the indoor garden directly under the skylights. At a slight slope it extends from the entrance to the live-in kitchen in the semibasement, and forms a two-story garden between the living space and the bathroom. The plants that have since grown there ensure that the family does not have to face a view of the toilet while eating lunch. To get from one room to the other, the residents generally cross one of the garden areas, so that life there is intensely permeated with greenery, forming a house in which the view into the garden is no longer a view outward.
The family's sleeping areas are reached via the stairs in the entrance. A separate nursery is planned as merely temporary, since the beds of the parents and the child are separated only by a curtain. The most private of all the rooms is located beyond the bedroom, directly above the bathroom. It can only be reached by a footbridge, and thus functions for the family-in part because of its generous opening onto the green space-as something like a garden pavilion, where they can enjoy a cup of tea or read a book.