Magritte’s House20. Jun2011
A tiny four story house built entirely from concrete on a very small area from a densely populated neighbourhood in Tokyo.
“Magritte’s is situated in the middle of Tokyo, on a tiny 45.61 m2 of plot of land. The width of front road restricted the size of construction machinery. The conditions made it extremely difficult to build the residence. The client was a married couple in their thirties, and their simple request was the use of concrete for every part of the house including floor, wall, tables etc. They didn’t even care for storage space to satisfy this request.
Atelier Tekuto believes creating architecture is a fight against gravity. There are two ways to escape from the gravity: Use energy to push against gravity like a rocket, or create a structure that contains a volume lighter than air such as a helium balloon. Atelier Tekuto was inspired by Magritte’s work on surrealism and proposed the motif of a massive concrete block escaping from the gravity. For the structure, Atelier Tekuto chose precast concrete with pre-stressed steel bar, to separate the volume between ground floor and basement. Finally Atelier Tekuto found a new element of architecture by rediscovering the common things that were once for granted.” - Atelier Tekuto
Atelier Tekuto is a prolific architectural studio from Tokyo that is able to produce single-family house designs at the incredible rate of at least one per month. Each house has its distinct design, trying to fit into strains of the building site but each standing out on their own. The vertical stratification of the interior space is an intelligent way of dealing with tight constraints specific to the areas with dense population in Tokyo.
In Japan, concrete brut is quite a popular material used in building individual private residences. But as difficult it is to make an acceptable surface, as difficult it is to design the appropriate form of the building. The slight shifts in plan of each story generate enough light for each level, generating a beautiful light play across the concrete.
Photo by Makoto Yoshida
Drawings by Atelier Tekuto