The "House in Kikuzaka" designed by Tamotsu Teshima Architects is an architectural concrete masterpiece located in the charming and historic neighborhood of Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.
This building stands out amongst its contemporaries with its bold and striking concrete exterior, exuding a sense of weight and refinement. At first glance, one might think that the house is disconnected from its surroundings, but upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the architect has masterfully integrated the structure into the neighborhood. The exterior staircase, for example, not only serves as an entryway for the residents but also doubles as a playground for the children of the area, creating a seamless connection between the interior and exterior spaces.
As you step inside, it becomes clear that the Kikusaka House was designed with functionality and livability in mind. The building boasts three above-ground levels and one basement level, providing ample space for a family of four. The designer has cleverly maximized the living space by minimizing the gap between the neighboring properties, ensuring that the residents have all the room they need to live comfortably. The use of reinforced concrete walls, which was necessary due to fire regulations, has resulted in a robust and durable structure that will stand the test of time.
The north side of the building, which faces a busy street, features three-story walls and a 165mm wide slit in the corner, allowing for natural light to flood in while still providing privacy for the residents. The opening facing the exterior staircase is designed to be 300mm above the floor, allowing residents to sit and take in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. The main bedroom, located on the first basement level, may appear to have minimal natural light, but it has a delightful surprise in store - the front upper level is a four-story atrium, allowing for delicate and ethereal light to flood in, creating a truly magical space.
As you make your way to the upper levels, the staircase leading from the first floor to the second floor is designed to play with light and shadow, creating a dynamic and ever-changing expression depending on the weather and condition of the day. The second-floor living, dining, and kitchen area is also noteworthy, with the table and chairs being original designs by the designer, and the space is illuminated by light entering through the left-hand wall slit and the top light in the stairwell room. The corner opening also features lattice doors, adding an element of traditional Japanese design to the modern structure.
In conclusion, the Kikuzaka House is a unique and well-designed building that seamlessly integrates with its surroundings and promotes a connection between the interior and exterior spaces. The designer's attention to detail and innovative use of space and light make this building a true work of art and a testament to the designer's skill and creativity.