Bay Window Tower House by Takaaki Fuji + Yuko Fuji Architecture

Three types of bay windows create spaces for various activities

Project Specs


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Built for a couple, their two children, and their two cats, this combined residence and office on a tiny urban lot features bay windows on all sides. Our research into bay windows from around the world revealed that they take many forms and play many appealing roles, from a device for bringing in light to a type of furniture for sitting on to a decorative interface with the city. Our design features bay windows on every floor and every side of the building, giving the residents many options for where to spend their time. In this tower, windows become sites for sitting, writing, sleeping, decorating, and many other activities.

▼建筑外观,external view of the building ©Masao Nishikawa


Another important consideration was how to construct a positive relationship between the tower and the buildings surrounding it, most of which are single-family houses. The fate of new buildings on tiny urban lots is often to block the windows of surrounding buildings, leading to a sense of suffocating confinement for neighbors. We solved the problem by slicing off the corners of the building, creating pockets of space in the four corners of the lot. For the tower’s residents, these pockets are little gardens, while for neighbors, the expanded space in front of their windows in a sense turns them into bay windows, too. Slicing off the corners resulted in an octagonal footprint. In many Asian countries, octagons are viewed as lucky according to feng shui. This shape is also extremely effective in reducing turbulence in the airflow around the building.

cut off the corners of the building ©Masao Nishikawa

the cut-off corners release the space in front of the neighboring windows ©Masao Nishikawa


In addition, we analyzed the surrounding microclimate in order to reduce reliance on mechanical devices such as air conditioning as much as possible. By observing simulations of light, wind, and heat conditions that included surrounding buildings, we came up with three types of bay window: transparent windows to let in light; windows that function like openable walls, blocking light and heat but letting in breezes; and windows that function like fixed walls, blocking both heat and breezes. We distributed these three types of window throughout the building in a way that maximized their efficacy in terms of light, ventilation, and heat. Nevertheless, at certain times of the year parts of the house have a high heat load. To address this issue, we covered the exterior with carbonized cork, which is light, highly insulating, rot resistant, and easy to work with. The carbonized cork serves as high heat-capacity insulation to lower the heat load.

different types of the bay windows on the facade ©Masao Nishikawa

▼立面细部,facade details ©Masao Nishikawa

▼屋顶露台,roof terrace ©Shohei Yokoyama


The tower contains a variety of places whose environments vary according to season, time, floor, and orientation. The family’s two cats show them the place which has the perfect mix of sunlight, temperature, and breezes at any given moment.

▼入口玄关,entrance ©Masao Nishikawa

▼洗手池,hand washing basin ©Masao Nishikawa

▼起居空间,living space ©Masao Nishikawa

▼飘窗形成丰富的活动空间,bay window providing space for various activities ©Masao Nishikawa

▼房间,立体的储物空间,room with three-dimension storage ©Masao Nishikawa

▼浴室,bathroom ©Shohei Yokoyama

different spaces with different light and atmospheres ©Masao Nishikawa

▼屋顶露台中的活动,activity on the roof terrace ©Masao Nishikawa

▼夜景,night view ©Masao Nishikawa


Architect Information
Takaaki Fuji + Yuko Fuji Architecture

1-23-7 Uehara, Shibuya ward Tokyo 151-0064, Japan

Credit Information
Architecture: Takaaki Fuji + Yuko Fuji Architecture

Photography: Masao Nishikawa, Shohei Yokoyama

Project Outline
Location: Shibuya ward, Tokyo

Date of Completion: February 2020
Principal Use: Residential & Office
Structure: Steel
Site Area: 43.91m2
Total Floor Area: 84.35m2 (15.66m2 / B1F, 21.95m2 / 1F, 21.61m2 / 2F, 22.30m2 / 3F, 2.83m2 / RF)
Design Period: August 2018 – February 2019
Construction Period: June 2019 – February 2020
Structural Engineer: Tomonori Kawata
Lighting Design: Atsushi Mitsui
Environmental Consultant: Kensuke Hotta, Akito Hotta

Material Information
Exterior Finish: Carbonized Cork

Floor: Teak Flooring
Wall: Lauan Plywood &Plasterer Finish
Ceiling: Lauan Plywood & Steel Beam
Lighting: Electric Bulb type LED

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