Designed by Frontoffice Tokyo, Minami Azabu House Tokyo is a modern house located in a busy city like Tokyo. Completed in 2010 with 210 m2 in size, the architect takes a different track for this project where the house rooms are connected to the city by a series of decks and also balconies that open the house to the city.
The building code enforces an envelope under which a building must fit in Japan. These rules are made to guarantee the best access to light for neighbors in a dense urban environment like Tokyo. Besides these rules, the architect is also given the rules to ensure the building lower level constructed will be submerged in shadow on this landlocked parcel of the type.
For many Tokyo-ites, the most common solution is to simply live in the dark. The reason is the building code ensures the largest floor areas are available on the lowest floors of the house, the understandable impulse is to design a home as big as possible, and to place the daily living spaces on the ground floor. As the result, a Tokyo lifestyle is often dark.
In this project, the architect takes a different track and reversed the standard typology. On the second floor, there are some main bedrooms. A guest room, a hand-surface landscape, and parking can be found on the ground floor. The living areas are lifted to the top of the house, connected to the city by decks and a stairway to the roof garden.
Space is a luxury in a city like Tokyo. The city becomes a backdrop to the entrance by keeping the ground level open. The balconies and decks that open the house to the city create an enormous outdoor space which is impossible in the city center on a site like this.
Minami Azabu House Tokyo Gallery
Photographer: Daisuke Akita