E-2 is a minimal apartment located in Tokyo, Japan, designed by naf architect & design inc. E-2 is a project of two-story duplex apartment with open roof garden. The owner of E-2 is the same as “A-1” which was completed in 2016 in adjacent land, thus this projected started by framing the relation between E-2 and A-1 in surrounding environment such as adjacent houses and frontal road. As a property for rent, sufficient floor area was required to yield profit for the apartment while the height of the building was reduced to two stories so as not to block sunlight or view of neighbors. Open gardens on the roof were designed on the same level as the third floor of “A-1”, which is the residence of the owner. This hanging garden which changes landscape by the seasons can be enjoyed from the owner’s windows as well as those of neighbors.
The project consists of three volumes, all duplex apartments, which stand next to each other in between interspace called “gray zones”. Three volumes, slightly smaller than compact houses in the neighbor, hold up the open garden roof. As they stand very close to adjacent houses, windows facing outward are of minimum necessity. Siding similar to the ones used for walls of neighboring houses was selected for exterior finishing to give a dry expression. Gray zones serve as traffic lines and balconies, and windows facing inward are of maximum size with transparent glass which conduct light indirectly inside three volumes while securing privacy. The selection of materials, space composition and rules for openings follow the patterns in “A-1”.
Residential land development in this area is said to have started around ninety years ago at the turn of Eras from Taisho to Showa. It has maintained quiet living environment with abundant green within residences, but as large houses are dismantled to make raw land which is segmented into densely populated smaller lots, greenery is gradually disappearing. One of the reasons for diminishing greenery is that Urban Greenery Act is only applied to lots larger than certain standard and not to smaller houses in subdivided lots.
View more works by naf architect & design inc