Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

The existing row house on this long, narrow property measuring 3.75 m across and 16.92 m deep was torn down to make way for a new residence. The design adapts to the distinctive site by playing up deep lines of sight. Segmented split-level floors overlap with one basement and three above-ground floors, providing visual outlets in a number of directions. The basement contains a multi-purpose space, the first floor an entryway, the second floor a combined living-dining-kitchen area and desk space, the third floor bedrooms and bathrooms, and above that there is a rooftop area.

Scattered staircases connecting the split-level floors create multiple up-down circulation routes, giving form to an image of wandering through the house rather than moving monotonously within it. The nature of the site is ill-suited to gazing at exterior views, so we approached the interior as a landscape of its own. Residents are able to stand or sit at various spots inside the house and enjoy this interior landscape. The idea was not simply to design a place for spending time but rather to think about time.

Outside, a stainless-steel chain curtain hangs across the façade. It can be closed to gently deflects prying eyes or opened to provide a feeling of expansiveness. While people tend to associate stainless steel curtains with the hardness of metal, when used on a building-sized scale, they flutter in the wind and convey a surprisingly soft impression. The result is a façade that lets in light while maintaining privacy during the day, and at night turns into a glittering veil illuminated by the interior lighting.

Design team:

FujiwaraMuro Architects: Shintaro Fujiwara and Yoshio Muro

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Toshiyuki Yano

House in Minami-tanabe by FujiwaraMuro Architects | Detached houses ×