Category HOUSES OF THE WORLD

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M House

Location: Tokyo, Japan Year of construction: 1997 Architects: Kaznyo Sejima, Ryne Nisbizawa Photography: Shinkenchiku-Sha

The site is bounded by a street to the south and by houses on the other three sides. Because these houses open onto the street, many have walls and screens around them to create a private space. The paradox of opening up a space which then had to be enclosed, meant that the relationship between the house and its surroundings and the creation of privacy were key elements of the design.

The excavation of the site and creation of a patio that lit and aerated the basement level, while at the same time linking it with the upper level, the street, and the sky, are two of the devices used to divide up the living space...

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HOUSES IN THE CITY

he origin of urban settlements appears to be closely linked to the development of agriculture. A study of the ruins of Stone-Age houses in the Near East has shown that many dwellings consisted of an open structure with no walls. The first permanent sites also date from this period. Perhaps the most obvious reason for creating sedentary settlements was the gradual realization that the life led by agricultural tribes was much easier than that of their nomadic counterparts...

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