This dwelling for an up-and-coming manga artist stands out like a vaguely dreamlike sculpture in a Tokyo residential district, as if representing with its unusual silhouette a kunstwollen free and irreverent to conventions.

Following the client’s specific request, Tan Yamanouchi & AWGL’s design provides a familiar environment that is not only intimate and reserved but also imaginative and capable of hosting all the phases of the creative process: the intimist one of creation, the interactive one of exchange with collaborators, the relational one of relationship with the press.

The building is located on a small plot of land 4.9 m wide and 14.7 m deep: the strict layout of the plot imposes a narrow and elongated configuration for the building, with a hut-like volume and a distribution on three floors.

A dialectic between the everyday life and the exceptional nature, soft and rigorous geometries, highs and lows, light and darkness connotes the work, as if to remind us that every creative process is the result of a complex genesis and, especially in the East, is based on the balance of opposites.

If the volume with its few, measured openings is sober and essential, almost shy compared with its surroundings, the west façade on the street contrasts with the compact geometry of the building: a plastic backstage – as if animated by an endogenous force or deformed by an earthquake – invites one to cross, through the tunnel that pierces the masonry, the boundary between the ordinary space of everyday life and the extraordinary world of narration.

Inside, a series of open spaces that are visually interconnected but functionally differentiated thanks to multiple changes in height determines a fluid and composite spatial layout: the ground floor houses the triple-height dining area, the lowered living room and the bathrooms; the first level includes the double-height studio overlooking the central void and the studio; the second level the private rooms.

A two-level interior courtyard lets natural light filter into the heart of the house, creating an effective contrast to the dusky, introverted aura of the rooms, where dark wood panelling and furnishings stand out against the immaculate backgrounds.


Ph credits Katsumasa Tanaka

Progetto: "JK21"