TOKYO – Japanese residential design is well-known for adapting traditional spatial concepts to a client’s particular needs. In the latest project by Mizuno Architectural Design office, the architects have reinterpreted doma – a covered, ground-level space traditionally used as a kitchen and workshop – as an outdoor hobby room for the owner that connects the house to the city.
Delta House stands on a narrow, roughly triangular plot about 50-km south-west of central Tokyo, but only 1 km from the beach. ‘The client is an old friend of mine,’ says the architect Yoshiyasu Mizuno. ‘Surfing is a hobby of his and had a major impact on the plan, but he was also interested to create a connection between his house and the city.’
The doma on the ground floor opens up to the street and forms a transitional, semi-private zone between the city and the house, and a place where the owner can store his surfboards. ‘This space renders their activity visible from the city, but also allows the inhabitants to view their surroundings. It also serves as a communication space with visitors,’ Mizuno explains. Three bedrooms are arranged alongside this space, and stairs lead to the living area on the first floor.
Here, the volume is punctured by a narrow, triangular courtyard, which loosely organises the functions around, creates views across the space and provides the residents with a feeling of greater spaciousness, certainly welcome in the small house. Additionally, the patio channels daylight to the sheltered spaces on the ground level. ‘This arrangement enables its occupants to freely adjust private and public areas depending on the occasion,’ according to the architect. ‘It is our hope that this space will create new dialogues.’
Photos Harunori Noda