takamine-cho house by tomoaki uno architects

 

in a leafy residential neighborhood of nagoya in japan, tomoaki uno has realized a fortress-like dwelling called ‘takamine-cho house’. the two-story, 190 sqm residence occupies a sloped corner site. the program is flipped upside down, with the bedrooms contained in the lower level and all the social functions of the house located on the upper floor. the upper level features a private courtyard, which brings natural light inside the introverted home, and a tranquil water feature in the corner.  

tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
images by yasuo hagiwara

 

 

takamine-cho house marks the client’s second commission for tomoaki uno. the architect had previously designed a clinic for them. this time around, the client wanted to create a house using traditional stone masonry. this request left tomoaki uno a little stumped at the beginning of the design process. 

 

the architect explains,‘in the beginning, I thought of it only as a finishing material. however, as I learned more about the traditional masonry method and its use, I gradually realized that I had not been thinking correctly, and I was at a loss for a while. originally, japanese masonry was used for the foundations of castles, castle foundations, and stone walls. it was never meant to be a part of the architecture… therefore, there were no past examples to refer to.’

 

‘I felt pretty uneasy and uncomfortable about using this traditional japanese masonry as part of a building with a different purpose. I couldn’t get rid of the awkward feeling that I was trashing the tradition, and a lot of time passed without being able to propose.’ 

tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan

 

 

the eventual design of takamine-cho house looked to the other side of the pacific ocean—‘it was the pyramids of tenayuca (mexico) that brought me out of this impasse,’  continues tomoaki uno. ‘the moment I came up with the idea of recreating it with traditional japanese masonry, the fog that had been hanging over the project instantly lifted, and I was able to proceed with the project smoothly from there. as a result, the first japanese-method pyramid in japan was completed here. however, the inside is not the sarcophagus room but the client’s study room.’

 

the final dwelling is composed of two volumes: the stone ‘pyramid’ and an exposed concrete block. the two street-facing elevations have no windows, creating a completely private refuge. once inside, the spaces range from light and open next to the inner courtyard to soft, dimly lit corners in the pyramid. the interiors are dominated by raw concrete surfaces, which may be thought of as a cold, harsh material, but it actually creates a safe, cozy atmosphere for takamine-cho house.

tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan  tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan 

tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japantomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan

tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan

 

 

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tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 
tomoaki uno references an aztec pyramid for introverted stone house in japan
 

project info:

 

name: takamine-cho house

location: nagoya, aichi prefecture, japan
architecture: tomoaki uno architects

lead architect: tomoaki  uno

gross built area: 189.91 sqm
year: 2021

photography: yasuo hagiwara