With Tokyo’s building limitations due to small plots of land at high prices, you can bet builders want to get their money’s worth. In order for MDS to meet the client’s desires for the Ogikubo House, they pushed the limits of the property line by building three boxes on the edges and connecting them with a central staircase. This avoided having to build a tiny structure behind a mammoth wall.

The design allowed for windows to be built into two sides of each structure, giving each plenty of light.

Incorporating the Japanese spatial concept “ma” (Japanese for interval, pause, or gap) throughout the residence was important whether it was creating open spaces between the boxes or wanting to give the homeowner’s a sense of being outdoors while they were inside.

The heights of the floors vary so the residents access the spaces via window-filled passageways.

Photos by Toshiyuki Yano.