Living Green: Ryue Nishizawa Brings The Outdoors Inside With This Glass House

There are numerous advantages to living in the city: shops and restaurants are always within walking distance, the commute to work is usually shorter leaving more time for sleep, and there is almost always something to see or do. But, residents in the concrete jungle are often deprived of backyards and green space. Balconies and porches are the only outdoor spaces they own.     

This is not the case for two urban dwellers and writers in Tokyo though. Their five-storey glass townhouse is literally filled with gardens and trees.  

Designed by Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa, the transparent building effectively brings the outdoors inside. The site was just four metres wide, so Nishizawa created the townhome with glass walls to avoid narrowing the interior spaces even further.

“The entirety is a wall-less transparent building designed to provide an environment with maximum sunlight despite the dark site conditions,” said Nishizawa. “Every room, whether it is the living room, private room or the bathroom, has a garden of its own so that the residents may go outside to feel the breeze, read a book or cool off in the evening and enjoy an open environment in their daily life.” 

Staircases spiral up through the building, passing through circular openings in the thick concrete floor plates. A similar opening cuts through the roof, allowing taller plants to stretch through to the upper terrace.

Bedrooms are located on the first and third floors and are separated from meeting and study areas with glass screens and curtains.

The plants provide the writers privacy by creating a screen that hides them from the eyes of passing strangers. Glazed walls protect the interior from the elements.

Residents at 35 Wabash will be able to enjoy a similar experience, although the walls will not be glass. Open concept living is elevated by spacious designs, and all towns and flats will have either a private backyard or rooftop terrace. Enjoy the best of Roncesvalles, and the best of Toronto, at 35 Wabash.