A small plot isn’t always a problem for an architect, especially in crowded cities where such challenges are quite ordinary. When asked to built a house on a narrow and small site in Kyoto, Japan, Atelier Boronski knew exactly what to do. The team managed to give their client the perfect home, exactly as expected: a 230 square meter house on three floors, squeezed between the road and the river.
The house is wonderfully uncomplicated. It has this very simple and appealing look and a well organized structure, with each of the three floors serving a specific function. The ground floor is a guest area, with an entrance lobby and other welcoming spaces. The first floor is where the main bedroom suite is situated and that leaves the second floor which houses the living, dining and kitchen area. On top of it all there’s also a roof garden and a glazed hatch that lets one access it.
The street facade is covered in fireproof timber and has a very understated and simple look. There’s a small private courtyard in front, sort of like a buffer zone between the internal spaces and the street. The wood on the facade is stained and has a rich finish which contrasts with the galvanized steel elements.
The North facade, the one facing the river, has a totally different structure. This is an all glass facade which doesn’t exactly give much privacy but, at the same time, exposes the internal spaces to the expansive views. The glass also contributes to an overall look that’s robust on one hand but also open and airy on the other hand. Such contrasts are actually quite common with this project.
The interior is simple and has a masculine vibe. The palette of materials used in here has a lot to do with that. The ceilings are covered in exposed steel, the floors are made of exposed concrete and the sculptural staircase and the handrails are made of raw steel. This would be a very cold and austere combo if not for the warm wood accents that balance out the decor.