Tetsuo Kondo: House in Chayagasaka

Starting from a central room, this single family house by Tetsuo Kondo in Nagoya grows organically with a series of differently shaped boxes.

 

Architecture / Iwan Baan

A private house but with mostly communal spaces that will allow spending as much time as possible together. This was the brief given to Tetsuo Kondo Architects by their clients — a young couple with two small children — for the design of a one-family house in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, in a district undergoing rapid development near Chayagasaka Railway Station. “I decided to design a building with a single room, creating a fine balance between separated and connected areas,” explains the architect. “My aim was to make an architecture that would accommodate a great variety of elements and create a situation in which each part were connected to the others.”

Tetsuo Kondo Architects, House in Chayagasaka, Nagoya, Japan 2013

The result is a structure with no ordered or linear development, originating from the idea to incorporate different components in a more organic way. “When you build a home for a young family with growing children, you have to consider the fact that the spaces will change quickly. So it is important to conceive an open layout, based on an equilibrium that holds the different elements together,” continues Kondo. The form of the building revolves around a single room and draws inspiration from a series of differently shaped boxes that represent the other rooms.

 

“I also tried to deal simultaneously with elements that would normally not be related—such as depth, height, structure, light, functions, form, circulation and the external space of the terrace. I think that by mixing different aspects like the present and future course of life, the history and cultural background of the area where one finds oneself, this kind of architecture can offer a new level of housing comfort. It’s about maintaining a certain state of equilibrium. Order does not have to be restrictive but rather limit itself to defining the relationships. I set out to conceive an architecture that is supported on a softer order.”