Tachikawa ANNEX – Warehouse × House

Tokyo, Japan
Upper floor residetial space. The roof frame structure is composed of a central beam supporting the timber struts that form the HP surface, which is supported by two log columns.Modest lights spreads through the translucent polycarbonate on the long side of the room in a one-room space gently divided into areas by the timber struts and two log pillars.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
Overall view of the west side. The site is located in a mixed commercial and residential area on a side street from the main street where the monorail runs. The office building and main residenceowned by the cliant is located on the north side of the site. The building is an annex, with the ground floor as a warehouse/studio and the upper floor as a residence. The wooden house form isadopted in contrast to the RC main building, which serves as a bridge between the main building and the neighboring detached houses.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
View from the kitchen to the entrance.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
View from the living to the bed space.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
View from the dining to the kitchen. The ceiling height is 2,600~6,130mm, and the height to the bottom of the beam is 2,360mm.The floor tiles and the shelves at the back of the kitchen were installed by the client on their own.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
The foundation rises 1,000mm above the floor level, which is dug in 870mm below ground level, and the wooden frame is placed on top of it. In the gable direction the perimeter columns are placed at a pitch of 2,004mm that is from 501mm polycarbonate panel modulus , and in the girder direction at a pitch of 1,820 mm that is from 910mm structural plywood modulus. Two polished logs are runnig through two floors inside. The ceiling height is 3,527 mm.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
Ground floor (the warehouse and the studio)
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
View from the entrance to the bed space (evening view).
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
View from the mound that serves as an approach to the second floor. The terrace (1,820mm wide) is a buffer between the west facade with full opening and the city.
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
West exterior (evening view)
Photo © TOREAL / Koji Fujii 2020
Architects
Kiyotoshi Mori + Natsuko Kawamura / MDS
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Year
2021
Structural Engineer
Ryotaro Sakata Structural Engineers

Details between House and Warehouse

The building is an annex to the main building we designed about 10 years ago as corporate headquarters of a clothing maker and the owner’s house. The site stretches over several zones under different regulations, which led to different structure or height variations. Our choice, in contrast to the five-story RC main house which rose vertically, was to design a light wooden building in the widened area in the back of the site, in the category I exclusively low-rise residential zone. The exposed timber frame structure is composed of the lower structure with two-story posts, and the roof structure with 90 by 90 mm timber struts which, supporting the purlins, shift in angles and form HP surfaces. These two structures—the lower and the roof—together with the intervening floor frame in between create a unique and generous single space on each level.

The ground floor is used for a warehouse as well as a photo studio, while the upper floor is a second house of the owner. Optimized for the purpose, the ground level has less openings to let in only modest lights into the dark space. In contrast, the upper level has full openings on the gables to brighten the space for the residential purpose. Considering the main facade was on the west, we had to cope with low-angle sun exposure as well as to block views from frequent monorail traffic. Thus, we adopted translucent polycarbonate with thick void layer for efficient insulation and thermal protection. As a result, we created a space without shadows, filled with subtle light.

As the bearing ground level was only about 1m below surface, we put the mat foundation on that level and used the slab as the ground floor. The soil dug for the foundation was mounded up to the upper level to connect the residential floor with the ground. The light facade with full opening—though translucent—gives a feel of temporary facility and opens to the town. This annex, surrounded by the main building and other detached houses, aims at presenting a new and unclassified townscape in the way it’s used, the scale, and how it emerges as architecture.

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