tokyo-based firm pluszero designs a home for a couple with no boundaries between their work and their private life. the couple, a game designer and broadcasting writer, commissioned the design of a multipurpose space in which they could work, create, entertain friends, and host events and workshops. the house is sited at the end of a private road in a dense residential area. this type of dense, dead-end street is common in the neighborhood. the nature of the street allows for a small community space between neighbors and rich sidewalk life. japanese designer shin sato aimed to bring the atmosphere of this private road into the house and build a relationship with it’s surroundings.
shin sato of pluszero began the inital design phase of the home by laying two narrow volumes in parallel. one volume serves as a static space filled with the minimum rooms necessary for daily life — ‘uchi.’ the second is a dynamic, outward-looking space organized toward road. this externalized interior space offers a continuity and intermediate zone between the private road and ‘uchi’. this space is defined by shin sato as ‘uchiniwa.’
to prevent the back garden on the northern end of the house from being cast into shadow, studio pluszero opened both the street-facing facade as well as the rear facade of the ‘uchiniwa’ with transparency. this creates a complete visual continuity between the road and the garden. a narrow aperture on the east side overlooks the alley between the houses. this opening exposes the cluttered pipelines, meters, water heaters and outdoor units — results of the neighborhood’s densification. ‘uchiniwa’ is a combination of the private home with the neighborhood sidewalk life. it is public space as an extension of the private road and residential surroundings, drawing in neighbors and colleagues during events and workshops while serving, simultaneously, as a private space.