Moriyama house is located in Ohta-ku, a residential area in the center of Tokyo dotted with single-family houses and midsize apartment blocks, placed orderly on a traditional urban pattern that preserves a typically Japanese atmosphere. Drawing inspiration from the extremely fragmented fabric of the capital – a reflection of its fast-paced growth –, the house reinvents the traditional concept of the Japanese dwelling by distributing, on a 290 square meter plot, a group of independent volumes that include the dwelling of the owner and, temporarily, five rental apartments.
To maintain the morphology of the nearby context – a suburban landscape characterized by the repetition of buildings on a labyrinth of narrow passageways –, instead of concentrating the program in a single volume, the space has been divided into autonomous units that generate between them small gardens and interconnected courtyards, which act as gathering spaces for tenants and enhance the sense of belonging to a community of neighbors. In spite of being so close to one another, their privacy and independence is ensured by paying special attention to the form of the precincts, the position they occupy in the plot, the distances established between them and the position of the openings on facade, always avoiding to place one window right in front of another.
Each volume, built with thin structural panels of steel sheet, is set apart from the rest by size, proportion and number of floors, and can accommodate from one full apartment to a basic residential unit. Currently, the owner’s house takes up a single volume of the plot, distributed in four floors that contain a study, the living area and two bedrooms. The rest, drawn up as a group of small precincts, are apartments for rent, though in a future they will become part of the owner’s dwelling. Of the five, two of them gather independent units around a garden; the first one includes three isolated volumes that contain a kitchen, a living area and the bathroom, whereas the second links up, after crossing a short path, a study and bathroom contained in different areas. The three remaining apartments consist of a three-story volume with a single space per floor that includes the bathroom, the kitchen and the bedroom; another one with two bedrooms, living area and roof terrace and finally, a small two-story apartment with a bathroom and study on ground floor
Office of Ryue Nishizawa
Ippei Takahashi, Kimihiko Okada, Yusuke Ohi
Structured Environment, Alan Burden, Taizen Nieda, Hirohide Tao (estructura structure); Kankyo Engineering, Masakazu Gokita, Tsugihisa Narita (instalaciones mechanical engineering)