The Tokyo based firm, Pluszero have recently completed the residential project, House in Ouji in Tokyo, Japan. The house serves as an abode for a couple that have no boundaries between their work and private life. The couple requested a multipurpose space in which they could work, create and entertain friends. As the site of the house is located at the end of a private road, along a dense residential area, the nature of the street permits for a small community space between neighbours. As a result of this, the Japanese designer Shin Sato, of Pluszero, aimed to bring the atmosphere of this private road into the House in Ouji, and build a relationship with its surroundings.
Pluszero began the initial phase of the House in Ouji by laying down two narrow volumes in parallel. One of these volumes served as a static space thats filled with minimum room necessary for daily life known as ‘uchi.’ The second volume is a dynamic, outward-looking space thats organised towards the road. This externalised interior space offers a continuous intermediate zone between the road and ‘uchi.’ This space is defined as ‘uchiniwa.’
House in Ouji is a unique abode that creates a seamless continuity between its interior and external surroundings
In order to prevent the back garden on the northern end of the House in Ouji from being cast in shadow, Pluszero opened up both of the street-facing façade as well as the rear façade. This creates a complete visual continuity between the road and the garden space. A narrow aperture on the eastern side overlooks the alley between the houses. This opening exposes the cluttered pipelines, meters, water heaters and outdoor units- the results of neighbourhood’s densification. The ‘uchiniwa’ of the House in Ouji is a combination of the private home with the neighbourhood sidewalk life. Its public space is an extension of the private road and residential surroundings, drawing in neighbours and colleagues during events and workshops.