The white Modernist box need not be the answer – it can also be the basis for the question: what do you do with a small blank slate of a site? Two conceptual ‘cuts’ (one horizontal, the other vertical) through this structure turn it from boring to brilliant, inside and out.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
GAP HOUSE skylights

Tetsushi Tominaga Architect & Associates had to work with a small Tokyo plot, factoring in city-mandated setbacks as well as essential space for parking … and a desire for fully-sunlit rooms on both first- and second-level plans, front, back and side.

GAP HOUSE living room

Rather than seeming squeezed, though, strong verticals, natural light and copious deployment of white make the inside of the home feel open in plan and connected in section.

In combination with a central staircase, horizontal and vertical windows on the walls (and the skylights above) organize individual bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room spaces around the core without completely cutting them off from one another.

The strong lines of glazing bisecting the building on the outside translate to the interior as well, turning into air-and-view openings between rooms and floors as well as partial-height and floor-to-ceiling doors and walkways.

“The area in the territory are divided by borderline. However, the awareness of space is freer, and often consists in a vague area, and space overlaps by sharing them and an attractive continuous space appears. It is similar for a very small unit like the house of minimal (especially city type narrow house).This house is a project to make the dwelling environment in the center of Tokyo-city, tend to become small by making best use of vague part in the area.”

“This case, the common space inserted in the horizontal and the vertical direction to the center of the volume with audacity. Inserted common space opens toward the outside by loosen the boundary and in addition, strengthening the area in the house a little by making a short wall. In doing so, semi-outdoor gap (SUKIMA) that in inside and outside area is vague appears in the house and each space begins to be consecutive. It is possible to live keeping privacy by the shadow of the walls in case of geostationary, and by moving spaces, you can feel outside momentary. It is a new way that slightly remains as an afterimage like the subliminal effect in consideration to feel an external space.”