The second house – Tokyo

This residence in central Tokyo is the second of two houses located a minute’s walk from one another, both occupied on a routine basis by the client. The client’s sole request was that Love Architecture create a modern space made up of elements lacking in the first house: a recreational room and wine cave in the basement, a garage and lounge on the first floor, a space for entertaining on the second, and walk-in closets on the third.
The project fits neither the typical definition of a regular house that is, a place to spend everyday life—nor that of a vacation home, a place to escape everyday life.  Rather, it sits somewhere between the two, intended to expand ordinary life and cast it in a fresh light. In a typical vacation home, it is possible to create a sense of the extraordinary simply by opening up the building to the surrounding environment.
In this case, however, because of the small urban lot, only so much could be done through manipulation of the form in relationship to natural light and the garden. The studio therefore employed an alternate strategy of handling the entire project, from façade to interiors, furniture, and fabrics, as one borderless whole, each of whose parts is of equal value, thereby creating a new kind of environmental expression.
With every small interval of passing time and shift in natural light, the dense collage of materials used throughout the house takes on a subtly different appearance. Similarly, each step through the space brings unexpected scenes as one moves around forms designed to highlight the unique characteristics of the materials. The ribbed concrete exterior walls contrast a rough surface on the concave portions, achieved by pressing squared lumber into the formwork, with a polished surface on the convex portions.
The contrasting materials or patterns are brought into a hairs-breadth harmony. As the light shifts and people move through this house full of many different materials, finishes, and forms, they encounter a limitless range of scenes. This interactive relationship between light, movement, material, and form transforms an everyday space into a ceaselessly extraordinary one.

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