What do you do if you own a plot of land that may or may not get partially seized by the government for a road expansion? Simple: you build a home that can get cut up yet still survive. At least that’s what this young family decided to do.
“We want to keep running our company in this place, even if we have to give up two thirds of the building”
“The concern about this project was that 2/3 of the site was under consideration of the city road-building plan,” explains architect Tekenori Miura. The land was located at a small intersection in the Ota ward of Tokyo. And being the 3rd most populated ward in Tokyo, the city assembly had drawn up road expansion plans to relieve congestion.
But instead of waiting around for the bureaucrats to make a decision, which conceivably could take forever, the family, who ran a local funeral business, decided to build anyway.
“We want to keep running our company in this place, even if we have to give up two thirds of the building,” said the owners. “Even if we can only have a reception desk, we want to keep running our business here, as we have been doing.” So Miura and his firm Starpilots came up with a plan that would allow them to do exactly that. The aptly named “House Cut” was completed last year and is a 2-story home separated into 3 parts. Looking at it from the front, the left 2 volumes can be removed, leaving only a narrow office on the right.
Currently the 2nd floor functions as the family’s living quarters while the ground floor is dedicated to the business: Ota Funeral. This could all change. But thanks to the family’s foresight and the architect’s bold plan, the family business will live on.