Growing upward, upward and upward …
Although many dream about it, it is the few villagers who deserve to have their own garden. If you live in an apartment in the middle of the big city you are lucky if you have a nice balcony to enjoy the sunshine.
Or maybe the solution is a roof terrace where you share the living room with the other residents’ villages?
And the densely populated city you live in, the narrower you live, and less space for your own green spaces, it is usually space for.
But fortunately for this family, the architects advised.
Squeeze the house onto narrow plot
According to the design and architecture site, Dieen, in the midst of the densely-funded Tokyo financial district, this young couple had found a plot they could afford to buy. The plot was by no means spacious, and was completely enclosed between other tall town houses on both sides.
The biggest challenge in the first place was that the plot only measured 4 meters in width, explains architect Ryue Nishizawa to the site.
– In addition, it was quite dark due to the location between other buildings.
When the plot was narrow and long so the architects had to take advantage of the space in the height, drawing a townhouse that stretched across five floors upwards.
Here it was not really possible to build houses
– The housing is because the plot size narrowed, so the challenge was to make sure it did not get too dark inside, explains Nishizawa.
Of course, the amount of natural daylight emitted is of course very limited as there are tall buildings on both sides.
The solution was to bet on glass walls, which would let in what was available daylight.
– The building itself basically consists of large plates in concrete placed on top of each other, explains the architect.
– Something that creates a building without walls. Here nothing should shut for the light and the air.
Garden on each floor
The young couple who lived in the house had a great desire for their own garden, but realized that this was in many ways an impossibility due to the size and location of the plot.
– We wanted to give the clients what they dreamed about, but found out that a traditional garden would not be possible, explains Nishizawa, who, together with his colleague Kazuyo Sejima, runs the SANAA architectural community..
The duo recently finished the work on a new part of the Musée du Louvre in France and is currently working on projects at the Rolex Learning Center in Switzerland and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.
How does the apartment work larger
The environment-focused architecture site, Inhabitat, explains the architect:
– The solution on this property was to place the garden in front of the building, towards the street in front. So here you have some garden on each floor up the building.
In this way, not only do residents enjoy green plants and outdoor spaces, but the planting also creates a kind of screen between the street and the house.
– The view of the home has almost become impossible, explains Nishizawa.
– And behind what appears like a green wall lies the glass wall and protects the interior of the housing against the elements.
From the street it’s hard to see what’s hiding behind the wall with green plants and trees.
There is no doubt that the building is a contrast to the stone and wall facades that otherwise characterize the district, explains the architect.
Behind this worn garage door hides a design residence
– We wanted the facade of this building to work as a reminder that dense urbanization does not have to mean that one has to sacrifice clean air and green space.
The building should be as transparent as possible to allow both light and air into the narrow house. And with walls of glass it is a good feeling of being on display that the garden covers the balconies on each floor up the house.
– Each room in this house, both living room, private zones and also the bathroom, has its own garden so residents can go out, feel fresh air to the skin, read a book underneath the sky or just cool down on warm summer evenings , explains Nishizawa.
– In this way the living rooms have become an equally natural part of the house like the rooms within the glass walls.
Hole in the floor
To maximize the sense of light and air in the narrow house, the architects argue for unique solutions also on the inside of the glass walls.
– The spiral staircase extends through all the floors through carved holes in the thick concrete floor, explains Nishizawa.
– And a similar opening is also cut into the ceiling, which allows the tallest plants to extend over several floors.
This house is built as a village
The bedrooms in the residence are located on the second and fourth floors, and are separated from the home office and living areas by means of curtains and glass screens.
Even in the home we have avoided walls as much as possible, explains the architect.
– This is also to not interfere with the flow of light and air.
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Got space for both the garden and the cottage on the roof of the town hall
This Grünerløkka apartment has a garden on the garage roof