It’s no secret that the city of Tokyo poses some of the toughest architectural challenges. With a population density that trumps every other metropolitan city in the world and land prices at a premium, architects are forced to get creative. That’s exactly what architect Kozo Yamamoto did when a client came to him and requested an “open house” with a courtyard and roof terrace.
“Standing on the empty lot and carefully observing ‘open’ spots around it, we began to naturally envision the best locations for the courtyard and roof terrace,” says Yamamoto. This was tricky because the site was located in an area with lax zoning laws, sandwich between buildings of varying heights including a 5-story apartment building.
Quite literally thinking out of the box, Yamamoto came up with plans for a triangular courtyard, an L-shaped terrace and a loft space that sits above the kitchen on the first floor. “We made sure that openings are placed at an appropriate height and location so that they can open up the house towards outside while keeping privacy.”