Half translucent, half rusting iron, this unusual split-gabled house in Tokyo offers an evolving space that can change with the residents’ needs and whims. Clear-roofed transitional spaces give the feeling of being outdoors while maintaining a sense of privacy in the urban environment.
The house takes up nearly the entire allotment of land, stretching upwards and enclosing outdoor spaces to make the most of the small footprint. The envelope consists of powdered iron mixed with plaster, designed to change over time with exposure to the elements.
Doing so takes control of the home’s exterior appearance away from the architects, explains the firm Sugawaradaisuke, putting it into the hands of the local climate. Inside, indoor living spaces are staggered with the open ‘semi-indoor’ areas for an open and spacious feel.
This offsets the rooms diagonally from each other, with voids creating gravel-floored courtyards. The mix of spaces also enables the residents to choose between temperatures that are artificially controlled or natural, according to how pleasant the weather is.