House in Matsuyacho
The property is located in a site boxed in by neighbouring houses in Neyagawa, a densely developed residential area of Osaka, Japan.
The narrow site was responsible for the lack of natural light and dampness in the previous house. Setting the new structure back from the surrounding properties would have allowed in more natural light, but this type of design would appear alien to the neighbourhood; thus the architects sought a design that would intentionally maintain the surrounding urban density. The solution was to build out as close as possible to the neighbouring houses, tracing the silhouette of the previous structure, but to also carve out small gardens on three sides of the new one. The breezes that pass down the gaps between the houses enter these concave gardens, flowing into the interior along with natural light. A similar hollow on the fourth side of the house (the street side) contains the entrance.
The frontage of this house is about twice as long as that of its neighbours, but because the hollow divides the façade into two sections, it fits in with the scale of the surrounding houses. The four indentations divide the 120m2 total floor area of the interior into zones that serve different functions. They are connected by a centrally located main room with a double-height ceiling and a perforated expanded-metal floor on the upper level. This allows soft light to enter the space from four directions, creating a bright and comfortable living environment that adjusts well in the old neighbourhood.