Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates


Edge by Apollo Architects and Associates

Japanese firm Apollo Architects & Associates have completed a house in Sendai, Japan, with a balcony that cantilevers half over the enclosed courtyard and half over the footpath outside.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Called Edge, the house sits on a corner plot in a busy area.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

The living areas open out to this courtyard, with a Japanese style room, storage and a further smaller courtyard at the back of the house all arranged on the ground floor.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Concrete steps lead from the walled courtyard up to a roof terrace on the first floor where the bedrooms are located.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

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Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

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Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Photographs are by Masao Nishikawa.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

The following information is from the architects:

Located in the suburbs of Sendai, the site for this project was in the vicinity of two existing residential buildings designed by other architects. This house was therefore designed by taking into consideration how it would blend harmoniously into the surrounding area. The facade of the building was covered in concrete in order to provide the inhabitants with a sense of privacy, as well as to ensure that signs of life within the house were not visible from the outside.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

The outer walls of the building made of reinforced concrete, externally insulated due to the cold northern climate, were also coated with a photocatalyst that gave them a white gleam.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Another distinctive feature of the house was the sleek and lightweight impression created by the sharp profile of the eaves and small, sleeve-like walls detached from the building proper - both designed in order to soften the heaviness of the reinforced concrete.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

A central courtyard sits in front of the entrance to the house on the first floor, while another courtyard that adjoins the south side of the family room also connects to the outdoor deck, establishing a sense of continuity with the raised tatami-floored space. The use of unfinished concrete for the interior walls and ceilings gives the impression of a gleaming, black hardness in relation to the white facade, creating a contrast between the interior and exterior of the house.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Climbing the staircase to the second floor while gazing out at the maple trees in the central courtyard, a bedroom comes into view. Going up another short flight of steps takes you to the children's room, bathroom, and a spacious balcony.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

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By creating numerous intermediate zones that straddle the inside and outside of the house - a rooftop and balcony that provide opportunities for gardening, for instance - the inhabitants can enjoy their living environment all throughout the building.

Edge by Apollo Architects & Associates

Click for larger image

In addition to being a carefully considered response to sites that see a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, the courtyard house typology is also deployed in residential architecture as a way of creating a permanent sanctuary for nature in an urbanizing neighborhood.

See also:


Shift by Apollo Architects
& Associates
Flow by Apollo Architects
& Associates
Parabola House by
Atelier Tekuto

Posted on Thursday March 3rd 2011 at 2:37 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • nofelix

    why does every japanese house on here cocoon itself from the world? is living in japan that bad?

    i like the balcony over the door though, it feels like a cheeky incursion into public space. pity the rest of the building doesn't have any of this humour or drama

    • h.a.

      it is their culture. they didn´t have puritans

  • cheryl gwalker

    Wow!! I could soooo live here..love this!

  • Architecturized

    Supremely crisp… I would be paranoid about graffiti though. Maybe thats not an issue in their neighborhood. At least they have privacy and security.

  • yuc

    transparency without comprimising from privacy… that is very well achieved. To my view, the Japanese like introverted design rather than having open street façades; traditional Japanese and Chinese houses prove (at least to me) that this is a cultural pheomenon which I admire.

  • i used to think japanese architecture was wonderful, but i find myself more and more bored with it. they take fetishism to an extreme, and it's no less true with their obsession with extremely minimal, monolithic spaces.

    i long to see really exciting, radical japanese design. not the same idea rehashed in a million different variations.

  • Crisp, Sharp, Modern Design right here. Love the edges on the house. I could so live there.

  • durden
  • R Sati

    Matt Yee has said it very well – old ideas mechanically rehashed until the spaces are ugly and non-human. Looks minimal until lived in – then they become awkward and cluttered. WTF? (really)

  • Russ

    Modern is cool. Form following function – the only way to go. Why have fake this, that and the other junk added on ? This one is very nice. Very clean and ultimately – livable!