Apollo Architects & Associates designs Tokyo home that blurs indoor and outdoor spaces

Front elevation of Espirit House in Tokyo

Japanese studio Apollo Architects & Associates has completed Esprit House, a home in Tokyo with a blocky concrete form elevated on piloti above a garage space.

Designed for a client who works in landscaping, the three-storey dwelling was created by local practice Apollo Architects & Associates to explore the home as somewhere that is both private and “open to the public sphere”.

Front elevation of Espirit House in Tokyo by Apollo Architects & Associates
Apollo Architects & Associates has completed a home in Tokyo

“In the work-from-home era, comfortable living environments and intermediary areas linking interior and exterior [are] increasingly in demand,” said the practice.

“Perhaps the most sought-after characteristics of future homes will be a joy-de-vivre spirit that allows residents to migrate freely between indoor and outdoor spaces,” it continued.

Residential street in Tokyo
The house has a blocky concrete form

Both inside and out, the project contrasts bright, open-air spaces with more enclosed ones, reflected by the exterior contrast of austere, exposed concrete and a large area of glazing that reveals the interior to the street.

Entering a narrow space alongside the ground-floor garage and gym, a staircase leads up to the first floor where three bedrooms sit in the most enclosed area of the home, wrapped by concrete walls with carefully-placed openings.

Entrance to concrete home in Japan
The bulk of the house is elevated above a garage

“Other than the open chef’s kitchen, functional elements such as the storage areas, kitchen, elevator, bathroom and stairwell are concentrated along walls running lengthwise through the house, resulting in a minimalistic, tube-shaped space,” said the practice.

A large living, dining and kitchen area opens onto a balcony sandwiched between full-height sliding glass doors and the glass facade, planted with trees that extend above the home’s roofline.

On the roof, a large terrace with an additional table, seating area and outdoor kitchen is surrounded by trees and sheltered beneath a metal pergola.

“Linking indoor and outdoor living spaces and enclosing them with greenery results in a serene atmosphere that is private while still offering attractive views,” added the practice.

Roof terrace of Espirit House by Apollo Architects & Associates
There is a large roof terrace

The interior of the living space has been finished with a dark palette of tiled grey floors, and wood-lined ceilings and walls with large areas of built-in storage.

Areas of exposed concrete have been left visible in the lower spaces of the home, while simple wall finishes and wooden floors bring a warmer feel to the bedrooms.

Flooded with light from the full-height windows during the day, at night concealed strips of lighting bring an atmospheric feel to the interiors.

Dark interior of Tokyo house
The interior has a dark material palette

Apollo Architects & Associates is based in Tokyo and was founded in 2000 by Satoshi Kurosaki.

The studio’s previous projects include a home in Tokyo arranged around a series of hidden courtyards, and a minimalist home squeezed onto a narrow site just 1.4 metres wide.

The photography is by Masao Nishikawa.

Project credits:

Architecture: Apollo Architects & Associates
Structural engineer: Motoi Nomura Structures
Facility engineer: Naoki Matsumoto
Lighting design: Ripple design
Construction: Kobo Co., Ltd.

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