Concrete block: Apollo design Grigio, a minimalist Tokyo house
An ode to concrete, this new house in Tokyo is designed by Japanese practice Apollo Architects & Associates, headed by Satoshi Kurosaki. Featuring raw concrete inside and out, the house, called Grigio, was created as a simple box. It may appear closed off but the architect has cleverly carved out parts to make it light and open inside.
One cut-out volume makes way for the ground floor entrance and garage (which provides shelter for two cars). Carefully placed windows punctuate the facades, while terraces and a central courtyard at the one side of the building allow for plenty of light into the interior.
The commission came from a couple that enjoys cars and collects art, so the architecture team paid special attention to the property's windows and light angles. Decorative elements were kept to a minimum throughout to create a streamlined, minimalist appearance. At the same time, the refined colour palette features a simple grey scheme that helps create a sophisticated, gallery-like feel, perfect for art display.
Two levels above ground and a sunken basement floor contain a spacious arrangement that comprises the master bedroom suite, children's room, the family sitting room and an open plan living, dining and kitchen area. The courtyard sits at the volume's heart, centering the design.