Sway House - dwell.com, 03/12/2008

In late January of this year, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow completed The Sway House in the Setagaya neighborhood of Tokyo.

Yoshiharu talked to us about his fascination with the residential area, whose densely packed streets speak of Tokyo’s post-World War II resilience—as well as its maniacal rate of construction. “They say that the lifespan of a contemporary Japanese house is 30 years,” he explained to me. “So in the 60 years of Setagaya, we have two or three different generations of homes in the same area.” And with each generation, he pointed out, less space and stricter regulations make for homes of increasingly diminutive sizes.

For the live / work space commissioned by a young, artistic couple, Yoshiharu wanted to design a structure that referenced the neighborhood’s evolution. And the result is a warped, twisted structure of tapering proportions—which Atelier Bow-Wow appropriately named the Sway House.

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