House Tokyo: a new kind of raumplan by Unemori Architects

by Web Staff

Compasses Magazine

Although inaugurated just before the dramatic quarantine for Covid-19, Unemori Architects’ the small apartment in Tokyo – “House Tokyo” – had already been conceived and designed as a highly articulated space in which it was possible to sleep, work and live.

The challenge for the Japanese architects was to design an apartment for a couple on a very small plot of 26 square metres in a very densely populated area of Tokyo.
The building is conceived as a juxtaposition of small volumes that articulate the entire space, each open to the context through large windows and small terraces that catch the light and open up different visual perspectives.

Organised around a wooden supporting structure that gives warmth and intimacy to the interior, this small architecture is clad with external walls made of concrete covered with industrial undulated galvanised steel. In this way, the architects claim, the small volume would appear more generous from the outside.

The small size – 51 square metres – has been optimised by the architects through an interesting hierarchy of interior spaces which seem to recall the Loosian lesson of the raumplan: staggered floors, different heights (from 1.9 to 4.7 metres), visible stairs, openings to the outside at different heights.

In this respect the designers stated in an interview: “We wanted to show how diverse and extendable the space could be despite the tiny plot size, not only with the high ceilings, but also the ‘size’ of the clients’ experience of their home and how we maximised that”.

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