I-MANGO is a residence in Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, and is sited between the frontage road to the south and railroad tracks to the north. To the west, the clients’ parents live next door, so the establishment of a close relationship to the parents’ house was emphasized to develop the plan.
Physical attachment to the adjacent house was first considered, but that plan was not practical from the legal and structural aspects. Therefore, following the parents’ estate with a garden in front and the building sited closer to the back, we kept the space in front of our clients’ new house while integrating the gardens of both houses into one large common garden that functions as a band connecting the two houses. However, if windows were made to simply face the common garden, the inside of the rooms could be seen from the frontage road. For that reason, curtains, or even a concrete block wall, would be necessary but would block the view of the garden from the room and the wall would let residents see the shadowed surface without sunlight. With the curtains or the wall, the residents cannot make use of the large outdoor space or incorporate the area into the inside of the house and into their lives.
Hence, we decided to build a one-story garage at the end of the common garden, use the roof of the garage as a private rooftop garden, and place the living room facing this space. With this design of a one-story height difference from the frontage road, residents could not be seen by pedestrians, or the inside of the room could not be seen from the outside even with the curtains pulled back or with the windows open. As the rooftop garden is connected to the common garden with a slope that is freely accessible to each other, it also serves as a key role for two families to spend time together.