Excerpt: Ortho residence by APOLLO Architects & Associates Co., Ltd is an architecture project that makes use of the distinctive property shape and topography to include multiple courtyards that play a big part in the home. A small courtyard and a large garden terrace serve as intermediary zones where the residents can enjoy the unique outdoor environment of a ranch-style home while maintaining privacy.
[Text as submitted by architect] This ranch-style home is located in a quiet suburban neighborhood in the Kanto region. The clients purchased the tiered, irregularly shaped lot as a place to spend meaningful time as a family. They wanted courtyards to play a big part in their home life, and to fulfill that request, the design makes use of the distinctive property shape and topography.
The exterior is defined by two massive, offset concrete volumes with a board-formed finish. Residents enter via a built-in four-car garage that is set back from the road, a design that takes advantage of the fact that the property has a higher average elevation than the road. The main level of the home is accessed by stairs or elevator from the underground parking area, enhancing security.
On the main level, a small courtyard and a large garden terrace on the south side serve as intermediary zones where the residents can enjoy the distinctive outdoor environment of a ranch-style home while maintaining privacy. The closed kitchen—a request of the client’s wife—includes a bar counter so the family can eat as well as cook there. The kitchen is connected to the coffered-ceiling family room via the courtyard, lending both rhythm and depth to the space.
A low step leads to a hallway dappled with light and shadow from a skylight, and beyond that to the laundry room, master bedroom, and other private spaces. All these rooms face the garden terrace on the south side, allowing the residents to spend as much time as they want outside without worrying about being seen by neighbors.