For its latest project, Naf Architecture and Design out of Tokyo combined two very different houses—one with a flat roof, the other with a gabled one—to create a single, 859-square-foot family dwelling. Far from feeling disjointed, the Half & Half House, as it's called, is pleasingly uniform but playful.
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The blue porcelain tiles covering the house’s exterior are typical of commercial buildings of earlier decades. “It was intended to invoke nostalgia of the past and newness at the same time,” lead architect Akio Nakasa says.
Seen from above, the two houses look like triangles joined at their long edge to form a square. The side facing the street is curved, presenting what Nakasa calls a “morphological contrast” with the gable roof peeking out behind.
The main entrance sits on the second floor, accessible by a back staircase that Nakasi says is meant to “raise expectations” as guests ascend. It opens onto the living room and kitchen.
The ceilings of the two houses were at slightly different heights, an incongruity Nakasi played up for visual punch. He exposed the beams in the higher ceiling and painted them white to match the smooth finish of the lower one. The desk beneath the window is from Muji.
The kitchen and dining area features an integrated system by LIXEL, a custom-made table, and Tendo chairs. A bespoke, curved bookshelf wraps around the wall beneath a panoramic window.
The staircase was painted white to promote uniformity of design.
Globe pendant lights by Panasonic hang whimsically throughout the house. The strip window sits high for privacy.