A designer’s home and studio, Suzuko Yamada Architects’ Daita2019 is located at the fork of an intersection in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood.
The enclosed portion of the project—a three-level structure accommodating the needs of a couple, their parents, and their children—is arranged across the northeast half of its polygonal site, while the southwest half is constituted by a garden and an assemblage of prefabricated, industrial materials.
"While designing this house, I remembered the Rwanda forest where I visited a few years ago. It is a vast forest of the Virunga Volcanoes, where the border of the three countries of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda is, and where wild mountain gorillas live their everyday lives as they travel. When we caught up with a troop of gorillas by the guidance of local people, they just sat down and rested among soft bushes in an open space of the forest. Infant gorillas played upon the trees and ran around among adult gorillas, while each adult settled comfortably in the grass, to groom themselves or to eat grass and tree bark. It was like a scene in a house. They found their places among dense trees and improvised their houses. Though there are no walls or roofs, trees, tall grass and creepers entwined with them, the overlaps and outlines created by unevenness of the terrain, were enclosing the presence of inhabitants, to form a comfortable density that can be called a house. This is the vernacular architecture in the gorilla forest."