Honourable Mention: Studio Velocity offers another reinvention of urban living with two small structures connected by delicate bridges
After receiving a High Commendation for the Forest House in the City last year, Studio Velocity continues to propose playful reinventions of Japanese suburban living. Many Japanese architects have used wild and varied means of reconnecting constricted urban plots to both the city and nature, but in a House Open to the City the solution remains elegantly simple.
Separated in an act of literal deconstruction, two buildings occupy either end of a narrow rectangular site. A transparent living space raised on wooden stilts lies to the south and a solid, three-floored block with bedrooms and dining to the north.
Three sinew-like bridges bend to connect the two structures above a central green space that, situated as it is, feels more like a communal park than a private garden. The relationship with the natural is spatial rather than material, and the project maintains a stark, Japanese whiteness against the saturated greenery bursting out from the centre.
Bordered on three sides by surrounding structures, the house blends further with the surrounding city through its street-facing entrance – the gap between the raised living area and the ground. To enter into either structure means first traversing the central garden and becoming enveloped by the house and surrounding urban fabric.
A House Open to the City
Architect: Studio Velocity