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no.82 アーカイブ

2016年05月16日

Awatsuji Residence

The Awatsuji residence stands in a peaceful residential area in Setagaya, Tokyo. The home was built in 1971 and owned by the late Hiroshi Awatsuji, a textile designer and his wife Sanae, a doll maker.
The renowned late architect Takamitsu Azuma designed the home. He was experienced in creating urban-type housing and small homes such as the “Tower House” which he lived in himself. He built over 100 homes over the course of his life.
The 175m2 area of land at the corner lot was narrow and long, stretching in a north-south direction. Azuma organized the residential space on the north side of the land like a compact box and created a garden at the south. Since there was a large holly at the northwest corner of the land, the tree serves as part of the façade, denting the box.
Even though the exterior of the property had concrete walls, the inside was built with wood. The home was designed as a mixed structure in order to adapt to changes in the future. Inside, the open ceiling of one room continues for three layers. There is a wooden mezzanine floor overhang, assembled by pillars and beams. Above that is the second floor with separate rooms. Azuma kept the interior neutral. The Awatsuji couple selected most of the colors in the home.
The Awatsujis have been taking their time remodeling, renovating, and regularly repainting, their home to coincide with their children growing up and changes in lifestyle. They genuinely enjoy modifying their home.
The main attraction of the home is the kitchen. The approximately 4.3m long kitchen counter connected to the keyhole shaped dining table is one of the leading designs in island kitchens. Even though the materials, colors, or equipment may have changed over the years, this layout has remained the same for over 45 years. The kitchen remains the center of this home to this day.


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N Residence

The N residence is one of the units in a 15-year old apartment building. Owner N renovated the unit to serve as both an atelier and a second house. N wanted a space not just for her production, but also for decorating art and getting together with her friends. N’s wish was to have a harmonious space with a modern, yet classical feel. She wanted to keep the fundamental design simple and chic, but add a playful atmosphere with curved lines, decorative furniture, and illuminations.
N’s home was designed by architects Kenichi Yokobori and Tomoko Komata. They decided to separate the approximately 275m2 large unit into two sections dividing the home at the entrance hall. Going right from the entrance takes one to the public spaces with the living room and kitchen; to the left are the private spaces, like the atelier and guest room.
Since N creates copperplate prints, the architects used metals and stone materials in the space. One of the highlights of the home is the kitchen. It is positioned at a level one step higher than the living room and dining room. Everything, including the floor, walls and island in this kitchen are finished with “LAMINAM”, an Italian ceramic tile. The space glows because of the illumination built underneath the kitchen floor. The kitchen can be totally hidden when the two sliding doors against the living room and dining room sections are closed. There is a separate path at the back of the kitchen that functions as a pantry when the doors are closed. The designers succeeded in creating a kitchen that stands beautifully in the open space.
10m-long semiopen shelves stretch from the kitchen to the dining room, achieving continuity between the spaces. The shelves have detachable, bronze, mirror-covered doors allowing the owner to display her art and other objects beautifully. The shelves also function as an accent wall.


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Saito Residence

The Saito Residence stands at a slope of Hayama town, in Kanagawa prefecture. The home has a panoramic view of the Morito coast. The owner, Yumi Saito started planning the design of her residence since she found this land with its wonderful view. She requested architect Tsutomu Abe to design her home. Because Yumi was planning to use a part of the residence as her café, she needed the residence’s design to take this into consideration. She also wanted the private and public traffic flow to be clearly divided so the family can relax even during the café’s operating hours. Abe created a plan with depth in its dimensions, making full use of the slope. The basement is a garage with a RC structure; the first floor contains the living room and main bedroom; the second floor with the view is where the dining room, kitchen and gallery space is located. The guest room is on the third floor. In order to utilize the land to its fullest potential, the building is split into two and connected by a glass-glazed terrace, achieving a relaxed home that remains connected to the land.
The dining room and kitchen were planned most carefully. The plan required two kitchens: one for the family and the other for the café. The kitchen had to be equipped with necessities for running the café, including a corner to sell her confectionaries. Abe made this possible by situating a large working table at the center of the kitchen area, and placed a professional refrigerator, sink, and gas stove in an L shape. The center table has a top board made by two different materials: stainless steel and granite. The table has a 120mm slit dividing the two materials. The slit fits a sliding door, so when closed, it creates a closed kitchen. A dumbwaiter was installed to lift goods to the second floor kitchen. Professional equipment tends to give off an icy impression, but together with the colorful dishes and tools which Yumi treasures and displays on an open shelf, the kitchen feels warm and inviting.


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K Residence

The owner couple decided to purchase the unit in this newly built mansion, sitting high above Kanagawa because they liked the great view that stretched east to west and the maisonette plan of the unit. They asked interior coordinator Miki Saito to renovate the unit for them.
The couple needed a formal space to host their frequently invited guests; they also have young children. Thus, their request was to have clear separation between their private and public spaces.
Saito first changed the existing living room that was located at the south, beside the lower level entrance, into a formal living room and dining room. The kitchen was moved next to the dining room, and a family room was added at the northeast side of the home.
The kitchen can also be accessed directly from the entrance. The kitchen is rather closed off from the dining room so once the door is closed, the family’s space, including the kitchen, is separated from guest space. Other private areas are situated at the west side of the home; the children’s room and bathroom are on the lower level, and the main bedroom is at the upper level of the maisonette. The two levels are connected by stairs, which were moved to the entrance hall.
The interior of the home is classically modern and gives the space a high-quality feel. The lower level has theme colors of gold and black. The entrance hall wall is finished with gold paint, and black handrails and baseboards sharpen the atmosphere of the space.
The living room and dining room situated close to these spaces are elegant; the colors in these rooms are mostly light beige; the sofa cover and dining table are gold. Blue-gray was used for the kitchen and family room, the molding, storage, and kitchen materials. Although the unifying color in this home is gold, each space has a different atmosphere.


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MA Residence

In a residential area of Tokyo dotted with embassies, stands the MA Residence. It is part of a low-rise condominium complex that is four stories above ground, and made of reinforced concrete. Despite the home being approximately 200m2, the former plan had a lot of wasted space, like mixed private and public areas and having three bathrooms, but a small dining room and kitchen.
The owner wanted to renovate his home to better suit his lifestyle. In particular, he wanted his home to be suitable for entertaining.
Eitaro Satake did the design and created a space that feels like a detached house. Satake used a mortar finish for the entrance to achieve an exterior-like space, and placed symbolic double doors at the entrance of the dining kitchen. Taking into consideration the owner’s passion for cooking, the former small kitchen by the window was greatly expanded by taking out the boiler room next to it, shifting it to the center of the home, and connecting it with the adjacent corridor. The space is organized so that once one steps into the home through the double doors, one’s line of sight is naturally led to the living room furthest away; the open kitchen in between welcomes whomever is invited to the home.
The public spaces are located at the north side of the house and the private spaces are situated at the south. The private space can also be accessed directly from the entrance, but, by having a door at the start of the corridor leading south, there is a complete separation of paths between the public and private spaces.
Other improvements were also made. The huge water heater was replaced by a more compact heater, and the deteriorating central heating was updated. Looking back, the most important process was the architect and the owner spending more than a year and a half together to plan this house, by exchanging final images down to details such as the materials used.


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Emmanuel Residence

A 30-minute ride from Paris France, is a boathouse floating on the river Seine. This boat, floating as if it was hiding behind a larger boat, is the home of Emmanuel and Laura.
The boat Emmanuel bought was a penuche, a flat-bottomed boat that first emerged over a century ago. The boat was renovated into a residence after being used in Holland, and abandoned for over fifty years. The boat was ruined inside when Emmanuel bought it. He started renovating the boat while living in another small boat close by. Once he started renovating, Emmanuel discovered that most of the boat parts needed to be thrown away; he replaced most of the walls, floors and ceilings, and installed insulation. He cleaned the materials that were still usable, such as the windows. He asked his carpenter friend to create the kitchen and the shelving with a vintage finish to maintain the aged atmosphere of the space.
Stepping through the small door, a single rectangular rooms spread towards the right and left. The room is divided into different areas in order to efficiently utilize the compact, long and narrow space; the entrance and bathroom are located in the center; the living room, dining room, and kitchen are on one side, and the bedroom on the other.
The interior, which is mainly brocant, harmonizes and emphasizes the atmosphere of the boat. “We favor furniture that has its own story, rather than something new. ” says Laura. Most of the furniture is old; it was either found on the street, or inherited from family and friends. The interior has added originality because the couple decorated the space with items of their likes, such as; the piano which Laura has been playing since childhood; photos they found during trips.
The couple’s discrete and happy life was achieved by carefully selecting only what they really need in their home.


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