The property is located in a residential area close to the city's Imperial Palace, where housing lots are typically narrow and elongated so that private yards can be incorporated at the rear.
Alphaville was tasked with creating a home on a plot measuring just 53 square metres, onto which it was able to squeeze a total floor area of 85 square metres.
To achieve the optimal internal space while allowing the frontage to be opened up, the architects employed a wooden structure based around a pair of diagonal braces that traverse the building's entire height.
The diagonal structural elements incorporated within the partition walls serve as both tension members and columns that support beams at the ends of the floors slabs.
Oriented in opposing directions on either side of the narrow framework, the braces trace a visible line along the inner walls and emerge in some of the rooms and circulation spaces.
The architects chose the typical prefabricated timber-framing construction method for reasons of budget and convenience, and to utilise the skills of local craftsmen.
"These braces are meaningful because they are one medium of inviting carpenters to the small-scale housing projects – a trial that is unusual in other similar residential projects," said Alphaville.
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