Designed by Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, this house of floating concrete planes and glass walls contrives an ascetic domesticity tempered only by nature.
Garden & House by SANAA Technical Information
- Architects: Ryue Nishizawa from SANAA
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Typology: Residential Architecture / House
- Evocative Topics: Blurring Boundaries, Green, transparency
- Project Year: 2009
- Photographs: © Iwan Baan
The entirety is a wall-less transparent building designed to provide an environment with maximum sunlight despite the dark site conditions.
– Ryue Nishizawa
Garden & House Photographs
Text by the Ryue Nishizawa
In a highly dense district packed with high-rise condominiums and office buildings, this building is the new home to two women in the editorial business who wish to work and live in this historical environment. They specifically request to include an office, common living space, private room for each, a guest room, and a bathroom. I got the impression that it involved a program somewhere between an office and a residence, or a dormitory.
The site is a tiny rectangle of 8×4 meters. To the right, the left, and across the street are large buildings of over 30 meters of height standing with no setbacks, making the site much like a small dark valley surrounded by massive constructions.
Suspecting that a building with regular frame walls would narrow the site’s already narrow usable space, I looked for a possibility to create a building with an alternative method. My final decision of structure consisted of a vertical layer of horizontal slabs to create a building without walls. A garden and a room are distributed as a pair on each floor. Whether it is the living room, private room, or the bathroom, every room has a garden of its own so that the residents may go outside to feel the breeze, read a book or cool off in the evening and enjoy an open environment in their daily life.
Each room is smaller than the slab allowing for freedom in determining the relationship between the room and the garden regardless of the floor level. The entirety is a wall-less transparent building designed to provide an environment with maximum sunlight despite the dark site conditions. Delight in life is felt as you ascend the light, well-ventilated residence nestled in this exceptional location in the dense urban fabric. Physical And Visual Balance