Hohokus House, a private residence in Tokyo, was built by a long-term American resident of Japan who has studied the Japanese language and culture for many years. The naming of the house derives from home owner’s hometown of Hohokus, New Jersey.
As a major global metropolis with over 13 million people living in the numerous districts of the city, the first task in considering a permanent residence in the center of Tokyo, where land prices are at a premium, is to face the decision of condominium versus a stand-alone dwelling, with most selecting the former due to cost factors.
Painstakingly chosen after a multiple year search, Hohokus House is located in what is best described as Tokyo's Nob Hill, offering views of UN World Heritage Site Mt. Fuji from the highest point in the elegant neighborhood of Daikanyama. Throughout the quiet streets and ample parks of the area, we discover embassies, fashionable clothing stores and restaurants, one of the world's most beautiful multi-functional cultural space bookstores (Daikanyama T-Site), Tokyo's Greenwich Village (Nakameguro) that each spring transforms itself from funky into arguably the most charming cherry blossom festival in the city, as well as the high-end homes of the founders of major Japanese financial firms and corporations such as Sony, artists including the Danjuro Ichikawa Kabuki family, diplomats from Denmark, Kuwait, and elsewhere, and other discerning individuals wishing to make substantial investments in the finest homes in the country.
After a long search for a talented architect up to the task, architect Mr. Shin Ohori was asked to work with architectural and interior design concepts dear to the heart of the homeowner in a collaboration that brought forth the following:
Inspired by the strikingly modern and minimalist Japan’s Supreme Court building, outside perspectives of dwelling cut into the side of the hill as an object d’art, seemingly without windows, while these actually span floor to ceiling, thereby presenting a remarkable triangularly-shaped ship bow like point on the dwelling’s east side
Utilizing its location at the top of a hill, boldly cutting out a portion of the land to newly create a first floor while retaining what would become a main sidewalk level entrance on the second floor and a dramatic stairway to the third, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water hillside dwelling
With Japanese homes eschewing windows that offer passersby interior views, deploying a wall concept on the south side, with floor to ceiling windows providing mountain vistas from living room and line of sight to Mt. Fuji from penthouse
The immemorial Japanese architectural concept of blurring the distinction between inside and outside so as to maximize feeling of space and oneness with nature, as enhanced by floor to ceiling windows and continuation of similar materials, color schemes, and structural elements in both interior and exterior spaces
Bold skylight from roof through first, second, and third floors to light up the kitchen and dining areas as well as bedroom and study floors; spiral staircase allowing sunlight to fall from fourth floor penthouse through third, second, and first floors
Interior Italian slate courtyard permitting both privacy and sky views, in addition to the freedom to open Japanese-style bathing area window, or electronically switch between transparent and non-transparent window setting
Optimizing spaciousness via natural wood floors throughout; black Italian tile for main entrance, penthouse, interior courtyard, and baths; white walls that extend from the interior through and beyond veranda and inner courtyard; original artwork by Picasso and Chagall; modern furniture; in-home elevator; multimedia digital entertainment centers; robust steel-reinforced concrete structural design offering earthquake resistance, ideal affinity for climate and seasons of Japan, and modernist look and feel
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