Isana is a minimalist house located in Tokyo, Japan, designed by Niko Design Studio. The project is a multi-layer row house with additional rooms for rent, a request made directly from the owner of the home. As a result, the architects prepared the floor plan of the owner’s home with approximately 70m2 of space, plus rental housing units with floor areas from 25m2 to 30m2.
Initially, the client’s vision for the project was portrayed as a “a little house in the woods,” which eventually became the focal point for the rest of the design. The required spaces for rent would inevitably sum up into a large volume, and therefore set the overall design strategy to divide and disperse the rental housing units to create the image of “a little house.” The house is designed as a collective body of smaller houses.
A courtyard was placed at the center of the residence to serve as a communal ground for the residents. The atmosphere created was more similar to a boarding house rather than an apartment building. Since the construction of the residence consists mainly of wood, noises from the upper and lower levels can be heard. According to the owner, it rather makes him feel alive and secure to hear some sounds and feel his neighbors’ presence in the same house.
Photos by Masaya Yoshimura.