japanese atelier naf architect & design (tetsuya nakazono, akio nakasa) has shared with us images of 'ZYX house', a multi-storey private dwelling in central tokyo, japan. conceived for a single woman who required a home that could accommodate for her visiting family and extended relatives, the design stacks three kinds of volumes on top of the other to create a dense and efficient organization of space.
located in a tightly established commercial district near a railway station, the design had to make
the most of the 40 m2 plot as well as the adjacent structures which block in the site. the four-storey residence climbs vertically to secure views as well as natural daylight for the interior, resulting in a single-sloping roofline that cuts the space above at a dramatic angle. finished with a subtle chevron pattern achieved by changes in texture, the white exterior achieves a clean and distinct identity within the aging neighbourhood.
exploring all available dimensions and directions, the design achieves a variety of interior conditions for each level. the ground floor, which faces a narrow but busy street, is oriented vertically to gain indirect light from a slim L-shaped void. accommodating a private bath and bedroom, the design supplies a private living space for the client's grandmother.
the second level, which looks onto a neighbouring house with no windows, opens up to the south and the north, flanking the interior with floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides. the simple layout features a kitchen on one side and a living area on the other, obtaining separation by placing the staircase in between.
the top floor looks out to the east and west with a triangular window securing views of the immediate site from above. with a maximum level of privacy, the space is ideal for individual living. by approaching each level to suit certain conditions and inhabitants, the overall design is a spatial network for a multi-generational family.