At first glance, this building might look like a single structure, but it’s actually two separate residences. Architect Akio Nakasa designed them as halves of one whole. The buildings, despite being different in size and height, complement each other thanks to a central arch that lines up but doesn’t fully meet. Nakasa (of the firm Naf Architect & Design) created the subtle division for three generations of a family. One property is for a single grandmother while the other is for a couple and their child. Together, these buildings are called the Arch Wall House and located in Hachiouji, west of Tokyo.
The smaller of the structures is a single storey with open living and dining space. Its counterpart features two storeys and a double-height living room that forms the center of the house. “These buildings, while they are independent, stand face to face and side by side to share everyday life and space,” Nakasa says. Entrances to both residences are accessible through the arch that doubles as a driveway.
In addition to the buildings, the property has a traditional Japanese tea garden and two small shrines. It’s a lovely way to unite a family while giving each their own private quarters.