OFDA associates completes 3-storey couple's house on 50-square-meter plot in tokyo

OFDA associates completes 3-storey couple's house on 50-square-meter plot in tokyo

back in 2017, japanese architect taku sakaushi from OFDA associates bought a 50-square-meter site in tokyo to build a house for him and his wife. considering the legal restraints of the site, the building could only have three floors, includinghalf-basement, each of which is about 30m2. to optimize the space, the architect decided to have the entrance on the bottom floor and a relaxing hall on the top floor to enjoy plenty of sunlight, which automatically determined the location of the working spaces, setting the overall composition of the building.

all images by rino kawasaki



next, sakaushi started thinking about the flow planning for the 3-storey house. the stairway was inevitably pushed to the corner. ‘I came to think that the house gets energized when we move around comfortably and smoothly along the line of flow,’ comments the architect. ‘I don’t mean we are the heroes of this house. we are one of the most important parts of this architecture. so, it will be nice if we can enjoy ourselves by strolling around inside the house, and it will be nicer if we could take a nap or a break during the stroll.’



‘next, I wanted to embed scenery as something to enjoy while taking a walk,’ he continues. ‘in fact, I’m talking about the interior, but let me use the word “scenery” because I wanted to appreciate a sense of distance implied by the word “scenery”. I thought that creating a place from which I could see things in the distance inside the house would turn a simple stroll into a more dynamic experience. so I devised particular interior structure that allows our line of sight to extend as far as possible from where we would rest and lie down, providing the distant feeling.’



by creating this sight connections throughout the space, sakaushi has achieved a sense of openness and largeness inside the vertical house. from the entrance he can look down at the basement through the stair ways connecting it with the entrance. when walking halfway up the stairs to the second floor, he can look up at the plants in the veranda through the bathroom’s glass door. and just before reaching the second floor, he can look down at the bookshelf over the glass handrail. the different distance gaps result in a strong architectural expression.



‘people might question if “movement” as the concept of a house for an elderly couple is appropriate. it had already been determined when I decided to live in kagurazaka. it is almost impossible to live in this town of many steep hills if we are not active enough to move around in this house, and I think half seriously that the house would work as an exercise tool that maintains our healthy life span,’ concludes taku sakaushi.





project info:


title: sakaushi house
location: shinjuku, tokyo
main use: residential house



designer: taku sakaushi + o.f.d.a.
in charge: taku sakaushi, hirofumi nakagawa
structure: kanebako structural engneers
in charge: yoshiharu kanebako, shunji urui



builder: kimura kogyo
in charge: masaki tamura, hiroyuki haraguchi
piling work: tobu
in charge: iwahira kohei
earth retaining work: ochiai shoji
in charge: ochiai yuji



in charge: hitoshi mogi
concrete work: mishima pumping industry
in charge: yoshitaka furuya
rebar construction: souwa
in charge: osamu nakamura
formwork construction: otomo building firm
in charge: manabu iwamoto

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