12/21/2010

mth house by aat + Makoto Yokomizo

The three-storey mth house is built on a inclined site in the Japanese suburbs by tokyo-based agency aat + makoto yokomizo. The agency explores constraints which Japanese architects must face with. Building in Japan where there is no more land if not tiny, irregular lot, is very difficult. Japanese Architects must do with these issues to deliver solutions for a best living conditions for the inhabitants. A large number of research and publications (such as those of Atelier Bow-Wow, to quote but a few) as well as architectural projects, have illustrated these issues. mth house is one among these examples of doing with constraints.
mth house, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo


As many small-scale architectural projects in Japan, the treatment of micro is the same as that of macro (see also Kaijima Momoyo's interview by Jeffrey Inaba and Benedict Clouette, 2009). The key element of building private houses in Japan is to do with constraints or, as Thomas Daniell (2008) wrote, if not to say to fit in the site and its surroundings (insofar as the house must involve with its surroundings).
Here, the problem is the inclined site and its size. Addressing these issues, the agency organizes mth house around a centrally placed revolving staircase which is wrapped in an undulating white wall. This wall unravels on each floor to divide the space aid in circulation aiming to provide storage. It also acts as a dynamic canvas for the light and shadows that filter through the dwelling's windows.
mth house, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo

The house mixes traditional and modern elements. Washitsu with tatami floors on the third level. Washitsu for wa for Japanese-style and shitsu for room is located and leads directly to the a kitchen.
mth house, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo

This space gathering washitsu and kitchen forms a look-out loft space created by carving away the mass of the unit.
The organization of the house based on the staircase and the wall unit help maximising the space constraints.
mth house — first level entrance and staircase, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo

Each floor is functional and flexible. The wall unit connects the house vertically while spreading out on each level to accommodate the needs of the inhabitants. It unwraps from the case so that it houses a toilet and shower…,
mth house — bathroom and toilet, aat + makoto yokomizo, 2009, Japan, © aat + makoto yokomizo

and also hosts a washroom.
mth house — washroom hosted in the wall unit, aat + makoto yokomizo, 2009, Japan, © aat + makoto yokomizo
mth house — the functioning and undulating wall unit provides storage, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo
mth house, aat + makoto yokomizo, © aat + makoto yokomizo
Profile
aat + makoto yokomizo is a Tokyo-based agency, founded in 2001. aat + makoto yokomizo works in the architectural, design and urban planning area as well as designing for various exhibitions, events and interior design.

Technical data
Project: Private house
Architects: aat + makoto yokomizo
Year of completion: 2009
Country: Japan

Bibliography
Daniell Thomas, After the crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan, Princeton Architecture Press, 2008.
Inaba Jeffrey, Clouette Benedict, "Micro-scale and Macro Ambition. Interview with Momoyo Kaijima", in Volume, issue 13,  March 2007.
All photographs courtesy © aat + makoto yokomizo
Also seen in designboom.

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