The Most Tropical House in Tokyo

29.01.2019

©Yuna Yagi

Todoroki Valley, in the Setagaya district, is nicknamed ‘Tokyo’s little jungle’. And in this rainforest-like area, which follows the course of the Yazawa-gawa river, the Franco-Japanese firm Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects has designed an unusual house which is in keeping with its environment.

At first glance, the house is striking due to its structure: it’s made from two blocks, one semi-octagonal and the other L-shaped. A mezzanine level, which also acts as the main entrance to the house (due to the drop below), separates these different parts. This work of design is the fruit of months of research and documentation, and makes the most of a complex microclimate: the air near the ground is humid but the winds are very dry in winter. The facade is clad in red cedar, a strong, weatherproof wood which keeps the wind out, while the stilts on the garden level make light of the humidity.

The house certainly clashes with the rather more classic homes that can be found in this residential area, but it merges gracefully into the background of the miniature jungle that surrounds it. There are large windows in the kitchen-living-dining room which open onto the trees, the latter brush against the windows on the two upper levels, providing some privacy from the rest of the neighbourhood.

The house captures every single ray of sunlight thanks to its woody tones, white walls and light parquet flooring. There’s also a tree-lined terrace to heighten the sensation of enjoying a privileged encounter with nature, right in the heart of the most populated metropolitan area in the world.

 

©Yuna Yagi

©Yuna Yagi

©Yuna Yagi

©Yuna Yagi

©Yuna Yagi