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A Terrace House for a Tokyo Family

Jérémie Souteyrat [Profile]/Véronique Hours [Profile]/Fabien Mauduit [Profile]/Manuel Tardits [Profile]


Consideration for the surrounding environment is an important aspect of architectural design. In this Tokyo home, the architects wanted to make the most of the greenery of a nearby park, while maintaining privacy for the household.

A view of Dekki no ie (Terrace House) (designed by Conception Tezuka Architects, 2012) from the street to the north.

The second-floor terrace, as seen from the dining room.

The study and bathroom side by side.

Playtime in one of the bedrooms.

There is plenty of room for friends in the dining room.

Three layers of terraces, as viewed from the south.

Looking at the house from the park.

A family of four lives in this house in Kodaira in the western suburbs of Tokyo. They swapped residences with the father’s parents, moving out of their apartment in central Tokyo to the old family home. But they decided to remodel the property, asking the architects to build wide terraces, open shared spaces, and large bookshelves.

The house’s most notable feature is its three levels of terraces facing out over a neighboring park. The first-floor deck is raised to preserve privacy, preventing people in the park from peering inside the house through the hedge. For the same reason, each of the terraces is surrounded on three sides with wooden fencing. Only the park side has light railing where the wind can pass through.

The first floor is for private areas: bedrooms, a study, the toilet and bathrooms. On the second floor are the open shared spaces of the kitchen, dining room, and living room. A large bookcase is built into the staircase that connects the entrance to the living room. From the rooftop, there is a view of surrounding greenery, and even Mount Fuji when the weather is fine.

Since the house was constructed, the family has stopped going out so much. Instead, on the weekends they invite friends over to relax and enjoy the passing seasons on one of the terraces.

© Fabien Mauduit & Véronique Hours

(Originally written in French by Véronique Hours and Fabien Mauduit and published on July 5, 2018. Photographs by Jérémie Souteyrat. Banner photo: Three layers of terraces at Dekki no ie [Terrace House], designed by Conception Tezuka Architects, 2012, as viewed from the south.)

This series is based on a project called L’Archipel de la Maison (Japan, Archipelago of Houses), initiated by Jérémie Souteyrat and the French architects Véronique Hours, Fabien Mauduit, and Manuel Tardits. An exhibition was held in various locations in Europe in 2014 and in Tokyo in 2017. Exhibition catalogs are available in French from Le Lézard noir and in Japanese from Kajima Publishing.

  • [2018.08.21]

Photographer. Born in France in 1979. Graduated from university in engineering in 2001. In 2009 moved to Tokyo, where he now works as a professional photographer. Has done work for various magazines and newspapers, including Le Monde, Elle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Der Spiegel. Published his first photo collection Tokyo no ie (Tokyo Houses) in France in 2017, and Japan in 2017.


Architect. Born in Montreal, Canada. Now lives in southern France. In 2008, she cofounded the A. P. Arts collective, promoting interdisciplinary creativity in the fields of architecture, landscapes, and art. In 2013, she traveled around Japan researching unique houses. In 2016, she published Chile: Architectural Guide with Mauduit.

Architect. Lives in Nice. Cofounder of the A. P. Arts collective. Works on various projects while studying modern architecture. Published Chile: Architectural Guide in 2016 with Hours.

French architect based in Tokyo. Professor of architecture at Meiji University and ICS College of Arts and cofounder of Mikan, an architecture office based in Yokohama. Has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions including Archilab 2006: Nest in the City and Tokyo 2050/12 Visions for the Metropolis for the International Union of Architects 2011 Tokyo Conference. Works include Ie no kioku (The House’s Memory), Posuto ofisu: Wākusupēsu kaizō keikaku (Post Office: A Workspace Conversion Plan), Danchi saisei keikaku: Mikan-gumi no rinobēshon katarogu (Save the Danchi: Mass Estates, A Project of the Future), and Tokyo Dansō (Tokyo: Portraits and Fictions).

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