written by:
December 8, 2013
Tokyo, Japan is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a rich cultural history in art and design. Working with small spaces and incorporating traditional and modern aesthetic, these Tokyo architects are successful at balancing eccentricity with practicality.
engawa house, tokyo, japan

Hidekazu and Miharu Higashibata chose to incorporate Italian sensibilities when hiring Tezuka Architects to construct their dream home. Abandoning traditional Japanese aesthetic, the home includes a fireplace, garden and long table for leisurely meals. Photo by Adam Friedberg.

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Originally appeared in Family Style
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tokyo, house, Takaharu and Yui Tezuka

The architects are well-known for their ability to successfully fuse indoor and outdoor settings. In the back of the home, the glass wall functions as a patio door that opens to the garden. Photo by Adam Friedberg.

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Originally appeared in Family Style
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Fujimori has an affinity for building structures that appear to be perched precariously: His charred cedar-clad Guest House seems to balance on a sliver of a wall.

A former professor at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo and noted architectural historian, the eccentric Terunobu Fujimori tries to defy the traditional architecture he spent most of his life studying. "Since I was a famous architectural historian,” he says, “I thought my architecture should be totally unique, dissimilar to any architecture that came before." Photo by Adam Friedberg.

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Courtesy of 
Akihisa Masuda
Originally appeared in Terunobu Fujimori
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Fujimori designed his own residence, the Tanpopo House, in 1995, with volcanic rock siding and grass and dandelions on the roof and walls; he is pleased by its “bushy-haired expression.”

In 1995, Fujimori designed his own home, called the Tanpopo House which integrates natural elements like volcanic rock, grass and dandelions. Each summer, the home's facade sprouts a new set of yellow dandelions. Incorporating living flora is a common theme in Fujimori's work. His Lamune Hot Spring House features two pine trees peeking from the roof of the home. Photo by Adam Friedberg.

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Originally appeared in Terunobu Fujimori
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Pairing living flora amidst stark concrete and devoting most of the essential 653-square-foot interior to a garden space, architect Akira Mada's Minna no le (meaning Everyone's House) is a functioning contradiction.

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(c) DAICI ANO / FWD
Originally appeared in Great Indoors
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narrow house in tokyo

The Minna no le is wedged between buildings in a labyrinthine arrangement but by eliminating separations and introducing natural light, the space feels open and airy. An Evergreen Ash tree is centrally located in the grey brick floor of the home.

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(c) DAICI ANO / FWD
Originally appeared in Great Indoors
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coil house, staircase, tokyo, japan

In this 921-square-foot house, deemed the Coil home, architect Akihisa Hirata designed a space for Sakura and Ryo Sugiura that is built around a 44-step spiral staircase. The stairs function as a multi-level space dedicated to reading, playing and sleeping. Photo by Koichi Torimura.

Originally appeared in Stacked
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modern kitchen Japan

The Coil home's dining room is located at the top of the staircase while the library, living area and sleeping area are on the way up. This creative approach “fits our ‘futon lifestyle,’” says Ryo. Photo by Koichi Torimura.

Courtesy of 
Koichi Torimura
Originally appeared in Step by Step
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Concrete house in Tokyo

In a tight-fitted spot of a crowded Tokyo neighborhood, the L-shaped Bent House created by a friend of the homeowner, Koji Tsutsui, is a concrete box that is more than meets the eye. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Originally appeared in Japan Style: 7 Creative Living Spaces in Tokyo
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open plan concrete home in japan staircase

The Bent House's floating staircase separates the space between the bathroom and the living area. Natural light floods in from the skylights and works to expand the 793-square-foot space. A raw concrete aesthetic bestows a minimalist appeal. Photo by Iwan Baan.

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Originally appeared in Open-Plan Concrete Home in Japan
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engawa house, tokyo, japan

Hidekazu and Miharu Higashibata chose to incorporate Italian sensibilities when hiring Tezuka Architects to construct their dream home. Abandoning traditional Japanese aesthetic, the home includes a fireplace, garden and long table for leisurely meals. Photo by Adam Friedberg.

Photo by Adam Friedberg.

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