Our client, a dentist by profession, purchased a plot of land in a suburban district close to the center of town in order to enjoy a higher quality of life with his wife and two children. The grid pattern of the cantilevered balcony located at the far corner of the distinctively narrow pathway leading into the flagpole-shaped site projects a subdued facade. In contrast, the large, open interior is of unexpectedly spacious proportions, especially taking into account the fact that this is a two-storey wooden structure.

The residence features both a driveway situated beneath the pilotis of the building, and a built-in garage that can house a Porsche 911. The client can spend a pleasant moment in the compact glass-paned study located at the end of the corridor enjoying the sight of his cherished Porsche, stored in this “showcase”. The central courtyard is also visible from the master bedroom, located at the far end of the garage. The metal grating used for the upper level of the courtyard allows ample morning sunlight to flood the space.

Going up the staircase leads to the family room, located just adjacent to the open stairwell. Large windows on both sides of the room bring framed views of the open sky into the interior of the house, while opening the sliding doors to their fullest extent connects the exterior to the interior. The compact, Japanese style tatami room located next to the kitchen can also be used as a guest room. Although all rooms including the bathroom and wet areas are linked to the external courtyard, wooden louvers help to obstruct lines of sight from the outside, ensuring both privacy and a sense of openness. Looking up towards the ceiling reveals a series of roof boards and rafters, each in a different hue, seeming to float within the interior. This wooden section, interposed between the stairwell and loft – designed as a play space for the children – creates a dynamic link between these elements.

Surrounded on all four sides by neighboring residences, this urban flagpole-shaped site seems at first glance to be a difficult environment with many drawbacks. In fact, however, the contrasts between inside and outside found in this residence could only have emerged out of these distinctive site conditions, giving both the family and their visitors a series of pleasant surprises.


Location Aoba ward Yokohama
Completion 2012. 8
Lot area 157.31 ㎡
Site area 62.83 ㎡
1F floor area 62.83 ㎡
2F floor area 60.24 ㎡
Total floor area 123.07 ㎡
Structure Timber
Scale 2F
Typology Private housing
Family structure A couple (30s) + a child
Structure engineers Masaki Structures Laboratory
Kenta Masaki
Facility engineers Shimada Architects
Zenei Shimada
Construction Maekawa Construction
Photographer Masao Nishikawa
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