MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

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MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Readers have been discussing "the abundance of introverted architecture that is coming out of Japan" recently, so here's another Japanese house that blocks all views to and from the street but still draws light and air inside.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The single-storey house by Satoshi Kurosaki and architects Apollo is located in a residential neighborhood in Hodogaya Ward, Yokohama.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

A wall behind the public approach allows for only a glimpse of the private courtyard within.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The windowless perimeter wall and a winding alley from the entrance give privacy to its single resident by leading visitors around the back of the living space.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Black floating steps creep up the courtyard wall to a terrace.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Large glass doors allow in light from the main courtyard and can be slid open to extend the living area.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Like boxes within a box, the living space and bedroom sit as separate elements within the perimeter wall but remain connected to the two courtyards and each other.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Photography is by Masao Nishikawa.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

We've published a number of projects by Apollo Architects & Associates, including a house that features a pointy overhang and another house with no exterior windows - see all our stories about Apollo Architects and Associates here.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Here's some more information from the architects:


MUR

This one-storey residence for a single woman is located in a hilly area.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The client requested a house with an internal courtyard that would eliminate the differences in elevation throughout the site while ensuring a sense of privacy and comfort.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

In response, we decided to model the facade after a simple box encircled by the walls of the building.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

In order to prevent the interior from becoming just a simple one-room space, we considered each of the necessary components to be a "story."

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Opening the door reveals a partial glimpse of the private courtyard that extends beyond the slender window in front of you.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

A glass entrance door stands at one end of the long, narrow porch, while the skylight at the top fills the interior with a soft, gentle light.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The house is laid out in such a way that you can bypass and go around the long, narrow alley to arrive at the main living area.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

In contrast with the dimensions of the alley, this voluminous space can also be integrated with the internal courtyard when the large sliding door is opened.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The bedroom, a small breakaway space that lines up with the large central portion of the building while being detached from it, also connects to the backyard, which is itself linked to the dressing room.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Click above for larger image

All of these living spaces were designed to invariably face the exterior while also ensuring a certain level of privacy.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Two different spaces and two gardens, laid out with a slight lateral deviation between them: a complex, nuanced interior was created just using a series of simple manipulations.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

In contrast to the simple facade that resists being influenced by the exterior environment, a unique, individual and complex worldview takes shape within the interior of the house.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

The manifold surprises that emerge from this process are precisely the essence of the "narrative" that we tried to create - the key to coaxing fresh perspectives out of both everyday and extraordinary life experiences.

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Architecture: Satoshi Kurosaki/APOLLO Architects & Associates

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Project Outline

Location: Hodogaya Yokohama Kanagawa
Date of Completion: Summer 2011

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Principal use: private house
Structure: wood
Site area: 276.64m2

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Total floor area: 80.39m2 (80.39m2/1F)
Structural engineer: Kenta Masaki
Mechanical engineer:Zennei Shimada

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Material information

Exterior finish: acrylic emerson paint
Floor: solid flooring;Tiled/1F

MUR by Apollo Architects and Associates

Wall: plaster
Ceiling: plaster

  • rock

    very refined.
    the spaces are elegant, + the ordering + use of space is simply but cleverly defined by the box within the box.
    excellent work!

  • Rui

    Clinical and Cold, perfect for a hospital. Why does everyone of these Japanese architects like to ignore the surroundings by building a castle wall? Are we still under attack from enemies?

  • Magoo1979

    I agree with above. With a number of these inner city Japanese houses it is easy to wonder in the precision of construction and high-quality detailing, whilst seething with jealousy at the lack of Building Regulation constraints. But, given this luxury, why is the architecture not more free? Sure the rigidity and discipline is impressive, but where is the joy, soul, humor and dynamism?

  • ubisap

    @Rui
    I totally agree with you… but have you seen the surroundings?..;)

    • Rui

      Irregardless of whether the surroundings are pleasant, beautiful, traditional, banal or downright ugly, that is the context. Are the inhabitants going to wear tinted glasses and walk around shielding their eyes from "undesirable" pedestrians. Imagine walking in a town if all houses were built by similar "opaque"Japanese architects, there would be no street life. Sad….

  • edward

    The rigor of designs like this must speak to the Japanese character but I do find the detailing commercial grade while the introverted parti sensible given the surroundings.

  • http://www.z-e-n-o.com ZENO

    The stairs are awesome.
    not that safe I guess. but whatever!
    thank's for the share