ON design partners: what categorizes the city and me
ON design partners: what categorizes the city and me ON design partners: what categorizes the city and me
dec 18, 2012

ON design partners: what categorizes the city and me

‘what categorizes the city and me’ by ON design partners, tokyo, japanimage © koichi torimuraall images courtesy of ON design partners




japanese studio ON design partners has recently finished the private residence titled ‘what categorizes the city and me’ in chofu, tokyo, on the threshold of a dense park with a small shrine. the archetypical house typology in section is divided into a mosaic of stacked spaces, extruded to create shelf-like structures that are completely open to the front and back of the house, forming a slightly differing relationship between the user and the town in each room.


the entry level is set below grade and contains the studio and coat room, with access to the back yard. the first floor has a bedroom, kitchen and a section characterized by tatami mats. the final storey is a mezzanine level looking out over the kitchen area and houses the children’s room, with access to the rooftop terrace. the structure consists of stacked masonry concrete block, beveled at the ends and capped with large glass panels that show the delineation of each room on the exterior. the interior is coated in smooth neutral-toned plaster contrasted by dark wood floors, wall panels, and furniture.

(left) front elevation with semi-basement (right) entry gardenimages © koichi torimura



back elevation facing the parkimage © koichi torimura



entry deckimage © koichi torimura



studio/storageimage © koichi torimura



entry corridorimage © koichi torimura



image © koichi torimura



tatami roomimage © koichi torimura



dining areaimage © koichi torimura



kitchen and tatami roomimage © koichi torimura



kitchenimage © koichi torimura



master bedroom and bathroomimage © koichi torimura



kids room from the rooftop deck entranceimage © koichi torimura



kid’s bedroomimage © koichi torimura



mezzanine levelimage © koichi torimura



rooftop terraceimage © koichi torimura



image © koichi torimura



image © koichi torimura



image © koichi torimura



site plan



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



floor plan / level 2












concept sketch

  • mmm…. bedroom + toilet + kitchen + dinning + salle floor plan? Still, I like it!

    AlfAP says:
  • nice to see a lived in house

    Paedra says:
  • Yes, finally a Japanese house that is built on a small plot, has striking design features AND is fully liveable as well as actually lived in!

    Erik says:
  • Nice project, I would like to get an idea of the cost even if it is in another country, the measures in each m² of built area. Congratulations to the architect.
    Roberto Wagner – from Brazil

    roberto says:
  • Comments:

    + Hate the fence
    + Love the house
    + I guess people don’t have sex in the kitchen in Japan

    Andros says:
  • Sugoi!

    jTr says:
  • most important floor plan missing, bummer, makes it a bit hard to understand the plans. like the big windows and strong sectional shape. a couple of negatives, 1. a room that forms part of a corridor is not a room, it is a corridor. 2. The fridge, not sure that was thought about, 3. what is the story with these skinny rooms, the winter garden and “kids alcove” that are only about 1.2 meters wide at the most.

    morgan says:
  • Amazing given what it is up against in Japan. Superb design and craftsmanship. Elevation is remarkable.

    Rich says:
  • Nice.

    Fred A. Saas, architect says:
  • the horror that is life in Japan (and everywhere else for that matter)
    what a thin line it is between life’s accumulations, consumerism. and hoarding.
    a beautiful house crammed with useless and unused junk.

    gordon anderson says:
  • @Roberto
    after they have one or two kids, they don’t have sex at all, let alone in the kitchen.
    Japan has the lowest birthrate in the developed world.

    gordon anderson says:
  • Very nice flowing spaces; wonderful windows and light; appears to be highly livable. Good job!

    michael magnotta says:

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