Divisible Design: Modular House Anticipates Partial Demolition

modular house potential street

While nothing is set in stone as yet, the city of Tokyo has plans to build a road through this residential plot, forcing architects working on the site to craft an ingenious future-proof solution for potential partial destruction.

modular 3 piece house

modular demolition house japan

Faced with a long history of earthquakes, Japanese architecture has a long history of ephemerality, but this challenge is of a more controlled nature: an expanded street is slated to eventually slice at an angle through the property, hence a home designed to break into pieces.

modular home site plan

modular home road area

Japanese architects Starpilots call their creation Housecut, a direct reference to this core dilemma. The house-and-office they crafted for the site is composed of three structurally independent volumes, anticipating the possibility that one or two may be demolished.

modular home interior slice

modular home bathroom box

The family runs a funeral home, lives in the structure and wants to maintain a business and domestic presence in the remaining space should part of their live/work building be removed. While the warehouse, break room and other elements may go, their goal is to at least maintain a reception area for clients if the city does eventually proceed with its plans.

modular home deck area

modular home corner view

For now, two residential areas border a central entry and are lofted above the business below. Everything is designed with dual endgames in mind, at once spacious and open but able to be reconfigured to make maximum use in a scenario where much of the building vanishes.