Toyo Ito

House in Magomezawa, Funabashi, Chiba, 1985-1986

This house, designed for a young couple keen on architecture, places a central half-buried concrete cube (containing the kitchen and the living room) in opposition with an enveloping metallic structure that extends well beyond the first volume, similar to a garment. In this way Ito generated a set of in-between spaces, where staircases, laundry room and a terrace have been inserted. The comings and goings between the floors are thus in full view of all, because the façade directly overlooks the street, a configuration which delighted the owners. The house is covered by two vaults with fairly flat curves, and opens broadly onto the street thanks to panels of glass and expanded galvanized steel mesh, thereby allowing air and light to penetrate. A small, 20-m² space under the vaults is for a bedroom with sliding walls. Unlike the first floor, surrounded by concrete walls, the space here is totally open. The House in Magomezawa is emblematic of Toyo Ito’s research on lightness, permeability and temporariness in architecture; the metallic panels of this type are usually used as fences around construction sites.

Nadine Labedade

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