80 m2 house in Shibuya ward, Tokyo
completion: 2008
structure: Alan Burden (structured
construction: tokyu kensetsu

What kind of architecture can be built if we start by seeing the existing urban landscape as something that is legitimate. That is, as something worth looking at and worth interacting with in its own right. What if the city were as legitimate and as valued as an orchard or a forest or a mountain view.

With the Yoyogi house we created a sloping green landscape that is connected directly to the street and that is open to the city around it. The garden is not seen as a private thing that is to be hoarded by the owners but instead just another green element in the urban landscape.

The clients, a middle-aged couple, wanted a small and efficient home that would accommodate their desire for personal space - for each to pursue their own hobbies, and especially a small painting area and work station for the wife. They also asked for access to outdoor space that could be used easily in daily life, and a garden where strawberries could be planted to indulge in a longtime hobby of making home-made jam. Their neighbour, built at the same time, rejects the city, light, and air. During construction we snuck in to see the effect. It is coffin-like.