apollo architects and associates: shift

milimetdesign updated from www.designboom.com


‘shift’ by apollo architects and associates in tokyo
all images courtesy apollo architects and associates
photographer: masao nishikawa

‘shift’ by japanese firm apollo architects and associates is a two-storey
family dwelling located on the outskirts of tokyo. pivoting around
a central courtyard, the inward-facing house consists of two offset
volumes stacked on one another, separating the communal spaces
from the private programs.


exterior view

despite the seemingly closed-off aesthetic of the exterior, the interior
is extensively lit by the connecting courtyard. framed in black steel,
the view to the exterior space serves as the focus and spatial orientation
of the interior. a visual connection is made between the ground floor
and the upper floor through the courtyard’s transparency.


inside the courtyard


kitchen and dining

the offset stacking creates pockets of open space that facilitate additional
light into the space: the dining space is flanked by the courtyard and
a garden to the south; a slice of the ceiling opens up to the sky throughout
the length of the living room, washing down the textured reinforced
concrete wall to the north.


wide steps separating the living area from dining/kitchen


living space fronted by the courtyard


second level circulation space


(left) living space through the central courtyard
(right) exterior staircase on the north side

much like the drastic contrast in atmosphere between the exterior
and the interior, the two volumes are treated in contrasting materials
to display a different sense of mass. the base is constructed of exposed concrete,
engrained with a texture that mimics japanese cedar; the second volume
consists of wood construction finished in a lightly-reflective photocatalytic paint.


exterior at night


entrance facade treatment


floor plan / level 0


floor plan / level +1

project info:

principal use: private house
structure: reinforced concrete/ground floor, wooden/first floor
site area: 257. 54 m2
total floor area:
180.20 m2 (99.37 m2/ground floor, 80.83 m2/first floor)
structural engineer: kenta masaki

  • Source: apollo architects and associates/ www.designboom.com
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