It is a fact of our modern day lifestyle that families are becoming more and more blended. Take, for example, the popular TV show, Modern Family. These types of family structures are the norm nowadays. A family structure that has remained with us over decades and centuries, however, is the multi-generational home, where fathers and mothers move in with their married children, and these have children of their own. This is something prevalent across all cultures, but family bonds is certainly a particular priority for countries such as Japan.
Today we will look at a spectacular modern home in a suburb of Tokyo, especially designed to house several generations of a family under one roof. That being said, the architects have wisely divided the different family spaces according to structural storeys, which we will inspect shortly. Besides this main attraction of accommodating the whole family structure, it is also a beautifully modern and minimalist design that is sure to suit anyone's taste.
Here is the home we will inspect today. Doesn’t it look cosy, yet modern and trendy? Well, we certainly think it fits in perfectly with the urban landscape of contemporary Tokyo, one of the pioneers in innovative design and interesting concepts. Not only that, but the house also just fits in between its two neighbours! Now this is making optimal use of available space.
The professionals behind this lovely design are Unico Design and Architecture Firm, based in Shibuya. We can see that they went to great lengths in order to adjust the design according to their clients’ needs and wishes. This is definitely a key trait anyone wants in an architectural firm responsible for creating their dream home, so prospective home owners, take note!
Taking a look at the house from the rear provides quite a different perspective than the private, street-facing facade. Here, the rooms and spaces of the interior are opened up to the surrounding garden and trees by means of large windows and extensive balconies. The owners of this home wanted to build a dwelling where their mother could live with them, reminiscent of their childhood home with ample access to the outdoors.
The structure consists of three levels, divided by its varying purposes, as we are soon to investigate. The entire home consists of a deferred floor area of about 128.09 square meters, and this is definitely and achievement given the narrow plot of land the architects had to work with! With all of these dimensional limitations, though, we can see that a beautiful garden had also been high up in the priority list, since an extended garden was created on the second floor level, with a walkway connecting to the house.
First, let's go on to the second floor of the home, just below the image we just saw. This entire floor is dedicated to the mother who lives with the married couple. This is great planning, since it means that the mother has an entire floor to herself, like an apartment, and can maintain her sense of independence for much longer. As we can see in this image here, the floor even contains a little kitchen in the corner, ensuring that she doesn't need to rely on anyone else for her daily needs. This can be just as a beneficial arrangement for the adult children, as they also have a sense of privacy and whilst still caring for their mother/mother-in-law, they do not have to change too much of their lifestyle.
The features and finishes on this level are much the same than the top floor we saw above, with the natural wood and bright white. On the ground floor, below the mother's space, we would find the master bedroom and study.
Now, let's go back to that open-plan attic space we saw in the first picture of the home's interiors. We purposefully didn't go into detail on it then, since we wanted to keep the delightful best, for last. The loft space is intended as a play room and space to be enjoyed and used by the youngest in the family line. However, since this young couple does not yet have children, the space in their home is dedicated to their three feline friends! The compact stairs and the many little peephole-windows in the walls ensure an exciting playground for these critters, and if ever a human child should be added to the family, it will be able to enjoy these features just as well. Now we can see this wasn't your standard multi-generational family after all, but they deserve (and received) a spectacular home none the less!
For another family home of interesting dimensions, take a look at the: Breathtaking one roof house in Korea, built for a family with young children in which they can grow and flourish by means of creativity and play.
Now that we have duly inspected the perimeters of the home and its exteriors, let us go take a look at what is hidden inside. We are sure you'll agree with us that this is a much lighter and brighter space than what was expected! The interior is almost dazzling in its appearance. This is achieved by the white walls and ceiling, elegantly complemented by the wooden floor, stairs, doors, counter tops and ceiling beams. The lighting scheme had also been installed in a manner to highlight these features, and it creates quite the impressive composition.
What we see here is the top floor of the home, which consists of the communal spaces, such as the dining room, kitchen, and family bathrooms. The raised ceiling provides a little extra spaces, as we can see here, and will see a bit later what exactly that is for…