ABE House designed by Japanese Architects Urban Architecture Office is a single family dwelling in Tama-shi, a residential district of Tokyo. Imagined as an outdoor garden, the interior circulation of this houses creates a journey as inhabitants pass between rooms. The exterior facade is made with three volumes of different heights that are clustered in a variety of facets.
ABE House from UAO Architects technical information
- Architects : UAO Urban Architecture Office | Works of UAO
- Location : Tama-shi, Tokyo, Japan
- Collaborators : Structural engineers: kanebako structural engineers / General constructors: hanabusa construction
- Site area : 109.83㎡
- Building area : 43.81㎡
- Total floor area : 87.8㎡
- Structure: steel frame : 3 stories
- Typology : Residencial Projects / Private Residences
- Material : Concrete
- Project Year: 2011
- Photographs: © Daici Ano
By bringing the floor level down, it was possible make the garden appear at the same eye level to someone who is sitting on chair as it would to someone sitting “Japanese style” on a tatami mat.
– UAO Architects
ABE House Photographs
ABE House description from UAO Architects
The primary demand of the client regarding the construction of this house consisted, not in filling it with convenient features, in decorating it beautifully, or in having the largest possible number of rooms, but in realizing family connections, and creating a simple design with a sense of presence in which a garden would be present to offer a couple some rest after a long day of work.
In this narrow site, arranging a parking space and a building in the maximum possible portion leaves only a small space for gardens.
In these conditions, in order to ensure a “garden with depth,” the box was not placed in parallel to the site, but rather in diagonal. With this technique, the feeling of “a garden with depth” was ensured.
The client used to live “Japanese style,” using tatami mats. As sitting on the floor brings one’s field of view closer to ground level, the client was able to feel closer to nature. This time, however, the client desired a standing, western style lifestyle with sofas. By bringing the floor level down, it was possible make the garden appear at the same eye level to someone who is sitting on chair as it would to someone sitting “Japanese style” on a tatami mat.
The building has elegant adornments, not too heavily ornamented, and is structured with an exterior appearance made up of both organic (=soft, curved arches) and inorganic (utilizing the feel of natural mortar materials) matter.
Creating a building out of 3 boxes shows a great sense of presence. Consequently, the design was kept simple, with no exaggerations.
The whole was built to be “elegant,” even while its exterior appearance was built with simple materials, by using natural “arch” designs to punctuate the rooms and windows
While the arches and the interior spaces each possess their own independent atmospheres, minute glances to their continuation show that they all have an exquisite mutual relation. In a fashion different from the usual planning to control the mutual linking of the rooms with walls, the intervals between the places themselves were softened into elements which bring out a certain three-dimensionality in order to create a gradation of existence for these connections.