House in Tsukuba by Aisaka Architects’ Atelier

An athletic’s home and gym

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Aisaka Architects’ Atelier for providing the following description:


Overview, site, and key characteristics



Located on a relatively spacious corner lot in a residential neighborhood in the city of Tsukuba, this residence with a number of hobby rooms was designed as a place for the client to live while working in a different city from his family.

The client, who is athletic and enjoys playing squash and working out, plans to use part of the house as a members-only gym in the future, making the design brief similar to that for a combined home and business. Although there are apartment buildings and other residences to the east and west of the lot, it is bordered on the north by a restaurant parking lot and on the south by a lush, quiet park, and naturally the client wanted to take advantage of these views.

▼住宅外观,exterior view © Shigeo Ogawa

▼南立面,south elevation © Shigeo Ogawa


An assemblage of stacked rooms covered by four arched structures


The layout was arrived at by first determining all the rooms the client required, from bathrooms to a squash court; roughly grouping these rooms into a gym zone, a living zone, and a miscellaneous zone; fitting them together according to size, length, height, and similar conditions; and finally adjusting this stacked arrangement based on setback regulations and other considerations related to the streetscape. These volumes were then integrated into a single building via four overarching gate-shaped frames lined up so as to block views from the west and east but allow breezes and lines of sight to pass through from north to south.

▼鸟瞰:建筑通过四个门型框架被整合为一个整体,aerial view: the volumes were integrated into a single building via four overarching gate-shaped frames © Shigeo Ogawa

▼南北通透的空间,the north-south transparent space © Shigeo Ogawa


Split-level floors rising on a north-south axis and rooms offset from left to right


In terms of section design, the strong orientation of the living zone toward the greenery of the park was prioritized, with the squash court, training room, changing room, and other parts of the gym zone arranged behind it according to ceiling height. The private and public areas of the residence are clearly zoned by floor level, but within the living zone, where the client enjoys an easygoing lifestyle because he lives alone, rooms are joined in a single open, interconnected space whose split levels rise toward the back of the building.

▼生活区,living zone © Shigeo Ogawa

▼错层式设计,the split-level design © Shigeo Ogawa

▼餐厨区,dining area and kitchen © Shigeo Ogawa

▼卧室层,bedroom level © Shigeo Ogawa

▼卧室,bedroom © Shigeo Ogawa

▼浴室,bathroom © Shigeo Ogawa

▼位于一层的健身区,gym zone on the first floor © Shigeo Ogawa

▼壁球室,squash court © Shigeo Ogawa


In addition, the height of the third-floor balcony was adjusted to remove a low outdoor electrical line from view, the two roads bordering the corner lot were used to separate circulation paths for the gym and living zones, and a number of small adjustments were made to the positioning of the four overarching frames to meet corner setback regulations and accommodate the location of the garage, the condenser unit, and utility meters.

▼阳台,balcony © Shigeo Ogawa

▼楼梯,stairs © Shigeo Ogawa


An interconnected living zone with many unique niches


Although the client’s family sometimes stays in the residence, the client lives there alone most of the time, which means that rather than the typical home design problem of mediating relationships between multiple inhabitants, the foremost issue was harmony between the space and the actions and feelings of its sole inhabitant. That was all the truer since the client often works at home and is therefore in the building for extended periods of time. The variations in floor level and the four interior colors are intended to bring a small degree of order to the unstructured life of a person living alone.

▼从下沉座位望向庭院,view to the balcony from the den © Shigeo Ogawa

▼下沉座位和走廊,the den and corridor © Shigeo Ogawa

▼钢琴房,piano room © Shigeo Ogawa

▼健身房,workout room © Shigeo Ogawa

▼阳台和入口庭院,balcony and entry yard © Shigeo Ogawa

▼住宅夜景,night view © Shigeo Ogawa

▼平立剖图纸,plans, elevations and section © Aisaka Architects’ Atelier

Credit Information
Architecture : Aisaka Architects’ Atelier
Photography : Shigeo Ogawa

Project Outline
Location : Tsukuba – City , Ibaraki
Date of Completion : February, 2020
Principal Use : A house
Structure : Steel
Site Area : 282.39m2
Building Area : 193.30m2
Total Floor Area : 308.85m2 (197.46m2/1F, 91.71m2/2F, 37.68m2/3F)
Structure : ohno japan

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