Architecture studio Tan Yamanouchi & AWGL created a house and studio with a curved facade for an up-and-coming manga artist in Tokyo, Japan.
Called a Japanese Manga Artist’s House, the house is located on a narrow site with a rich art history and draws on the storytelling aspect of manga – a type of Japanese comic book.
Tan Yamanouchi, director of Tan Yamanouchi & AWGL, said: “The project is deeply connected to the history and location of the city of the building site.
“It’s a place loved by many manga artists in the long history of Tokyo,” Yamanouchi told Dezeen.
The house was informed by the client’s creativity and features a sweeping facade designed to give the impression of the earth rising from the ground. A curved tunnel at its base leads to the entrance.
“The design tells a story of the earth, which has a deep connection with manga artists, welcoming and transforming an emerging manga artist into the architecture that dynamically rises from the ground,” said Yamanouchi.
A Japanese Manga artist house is designed to be as flexible as possible, serving as both a studio and home for the client.
To accommodate this, the studio designed a network of rooms ranging from public to private, with enclosed spaces for artistic work and more open areas for meetings.
Inside, the rooms are arranged to maximize the available space on the narrow lot, with a split-level plan consisting of two floors to the front and three floors to the rear.
Passing through the entrance tunnel, guests enter a kitchen and dining area with a curved table designed by Yamanouchi.
A light-filled void extends above the kitchen and dining area, providing a contrast to the darkness of the rest of the house.
At the rear of the ground floor, a semi-subterranean bathroom is dramatically lit by a small circular window. Here, the walls are finished in a black waterproof plaster that the studio hopes will give the room a meditative atmosphere.
“I designed a round window with the ancient temples of Japan in mind,” said Yamanouchi.
“The room is semi-underground, so the customers can enjoy the view of the moonlit night while maintaining their privacy.”
A staircase that wraps around the void leads to the upper levels of the house, which contain hallways lined with large wooden shelves for storage.
At the front of the house is a double-height space that serves as the artist’s studio.
A separate study and closet takes up the other side of the building, with a bed pool and guest room that doubles as a library on the third level.
“The design of the rooms allows for subtle and flexible use of space in a very compact dwelling,” said Yamanouchi. “We strive to continue to create architecture that embraces open narratives while pursuing logical solutions.”
Other Tokyo houses recently featured on Dezeen include a wooden house with exposed concrete furniture and a concrete house designed to blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.
The photography is by Katsumasa Tanaka.