Architect: Satoru Hirota Architects / Satoru Hirota
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year built: 2010
Japanese architects Satoru Hirota have designed a single family house in three tunnel-like volumes. The Lik House is a residence with the feeling of a resort which is both relaxed and offers a sense of intimacy due to the medium-rise collective housing scattered around the single-family house. Three tunnel-like volumes were arranged along the site’s boundary with angled trajectories, generating an irregular outdoor residual space which was transformed into the courtyard and the bamboo yard. The courtyard – a place for both physical and visual interaction – projects the interior to the surroundings.
Each volume is a tube-like concrete structure with glazing facing the courtyard, so that the boundary between the inside and out might continue vaguely. Each of the three tunnel-like volumes which overlook the courtyard are infused with a soft light, creating a vague distinction between the interior and the exterior. Floor-to-ceiling ribbon windows border each of the internal spaces, introducing views of the bamboo garden and vegetation into the rooms. The ribbon windows, courtyard and bamboo yard as well as the abundant natural light make this building composition seem spacious, well-balanced and neat, with a sense of openness and transparency as it introduces a continuous play of light and shadows despite its remarkably narrow interior.
But apart from the architectural form and the program, there’s more; the Lik House has a strong contrast as it plays with cement volumes, and stark white stucco surfaces. Angular shapes, which are strictly geometric, add up to the cement surfaces to only make the Lik House a strictly contemporary modern Japanese residence. Ribbon windows, wide openings, skylights, and the application of glass panels in this interior add elegance to the cement volumes. Undoubtedly, a very strong design element is the bamboo yard which can be enjoyed as you’re watching TV or working. Few furniture pieces adorn the Lik House setting as they set the tone for an absolutely minimal Japanese modern residence.