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Switch Residence / APOLLO Architects & Associates

Architects: APOLLO Architects & Associates
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Architect In Charge: Satoshi Kurosaki
Area: 123 sqm
Year: 2006
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa

From the architect. This is a rebuilding plan for a long-established eel restaurant that has been in business for 85 years in downtown Tokyo. Due to a full-scale road expansion plan, the owner was obliged to reduce the site area. The owner decided to welcome the 100 year anniversary of the restaurant in a renewed shop and planned an RC structured shop with residence. The narrow site has 20m long frontage, but the depth is only 2m to 6m. By utilizing visibility of the large façade, no openings are made on the road side of the ground level.

The exterior walls consist of exposed concrete that is framed with a cedar board shaped frame, which reminds us of black cedar board fence. It expresses the dignity of a long-established shop that ages with the passage of time. The upper floor is flat finished with white plaster to create a contrast with the wooden-patterned concrete surface. A floating sensation from the 4.5m cantilever emphasizes the horizontal volume even more. Another characteristic of this building is the horizontally-stretched, exquisite wooden vertical bars, which block the lived-in feel from being seen.

Measures against sick house syndrome are taken for children with allergies, and the plaster walls and ceiling with solid red cedar boards are used for the residence level. The natural light from the horizontal high window is reflected on the ceiling, and soft light showers the room. A loft space is made in the children’s room to maintain continuity with the living room and dining room spaces. The private rooftop is accessible from the roof balcony on the south side. The first floor shop now has a bright impression and has resulted in an increased number of new customers such as young women and children, in addition to the loyal customers. This building also serves as a new landmark of the land readjustment area.