Tamagawa is one of the most prominent commercial and residential hubs of Tokyo suburb. This part of the town seems to have sky high residential structures as well as individually owned small houses in equal proportions. Lucrative business opportunities, promises of quality lifestyle and a close contact with nature even within the city’s limits lure house hunters to this part of the city and eventually inspire them to set up their bases here.
Tamagawa is located by river Tama. The lush green parks that stud its banks are only a walking distance away and the pleasures of walking in the shades of keyaki tree are something the inhabitants of Tamagawa have not yet forgotten. It is in this surrounding that the owners of Higashi Tamagawa house decided to build their nest and requested Mukoyama Architects to help realise their dream. We are about to step inside the Higashi Tamagawa house and see how, together with the team of architects, the owners of the house have planned their dream abode.
From the outside, Higashi Tamagawa house looks like another one of those suburban buildings that can be seen scattered across the big cities of Japan. But this rather deceptive façade camouflages the ingenuous distribution of space across three levels. However, these are not traditional floors but volumetric distribution of the available space. Overall, the house comprises close to 87 sq metres living area. The stairs act as the axis of the whole structure along which the various private and entertainment areas of the building are strewn.
The hallway leads up to the first floor level which houses the master bedroom and a kid’s room. The narrow space of the oblong master bedroom only suffices the very basic necessities of a modern set up like this. Apart from a platform bed and wall mounted cabinets there are hardly any space available to accommodate any further furniture or adornments.
The kid’s room is tucked above a storage unit. The windows are kept out of the reach for reasons of a child’s safety and security.
Further above onto the first floor level, a living room sits pretty in its minimalist surrounding. It resembles more a loft space than a full fledged lounge. However, efforts have been made to make it as cosy and comfortable as possible. A sofa in neutral tone and centre table grace the area. Fashionable pendant light acts as the sole decorative feature.
Climb four more steps to reach the loft which also contains an open plan kitchen cum dining area. It can be considered the most elaborately decorated part of the entire building. Big glass panelled windows throw blessings of warm sunlight inside and augments the cheerful ambience of the whole space. The kitchen worktop, storage units and island are kept suitably minimal and are soaked in ivory shade.
A chic set of chairs along with a rectangular dining table occupy the centre of the dining space. A pendant light with big shades but neutral colour is used to brighten up the space. Though, at least during the day time, the windows seem to do this more appropriately than any artificial intervention. A view of the street and Tokyo’s suburban skyline can be appreciated over a bowl of steamed rice and miso soup.
Climb a few more steps to finally reach the open terrace garden, the top most point of the building. Not only is it a tiny yet fine place to bask in the sunlight in colder months, but also enjoy socialising with friends during spring or summertime. The members of the family can climb up to this place any time of the day whenever in need of a bit of fresh air.
To see how redistribution of space is helping in healthier living, check the story of this house.