House In Ebisu | Ebisu, Japan | 2020
[Tetsuo Yamaji Architects + Seiji Kamayachi Architects]


A house gives an opportunity for living.
This house has been created for a single man. He has working parents, who live in the Kanto region including Tokyo. He has kept a good family relationship with them, but it is getting more difficult to create family time because of their busy life.

Therefore, this house is meant to be a gathering place for the three generations of the family including the client’s future children’s family. In terms of the functionality, it is more like a second house. So it was created regardless of the stereotypical house design. What the family really needed was the “opportunity” for living.

The architectural design process where it is possible to live, work, and gather, was to understand and edit the huge demand of the independent individuals.

First, the legally allowed maximum volume was divided by five 1.7m x 2.2 modules, and both the column and beam, composed of 100mm x 100mm H-steels, created the lattice structure. Then, we discussed with the family regarding where to insert the floors – just like some sort of game.

The floors were planned to be inserted inside the 33m² building area and the 12m height atrium, so it was just like a three-dimensional puzzle game. “The bathroom should be at the place with a fine view”, “The upstairs is calmer and suitable for the bedroom”, “The dining room should be downstairs for holding a party” – the two dimensional thinking grows into the cross-sectional thinking. It is a fresh architectural design experience where the point of the conversation changes from the internal relationships between the rooms to the importance of the external relationships such as the views and airiness. It also provided an opportunity for the family to discuss the future.

The rooms far from each other seem close. The large sky can be seen from the kitchen situated at the very end of the basement. When looking down the bedroom from the bathroom, the asphalt pavement in front of the house appears. What is set up there is probably not a “machine” where each family member performs a given mission logically, but an “opportunity” where each member can freely choose climates, usages, human relations, in the complex and rich environment.​ Text description by the architects.

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Photography by: Kenta Hasegawa