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The 81-year old house of modernist architect Kameki Tsuchiura (1897-1996) was listed for sale over the weekend. This is a very rare property to see available.
Built in 1935, the house was designed by Tsuchiura as his personal residence. The two-storey, wood-framed residence has two bedrooms and a study on the second floor, a living/dining room with vaulted ceiling and kitchen on the ground floor, and a bathroom in the basement. The house has a registered floor area of 176 sqm (1,894 sq.ft) and is on a 285 sqm block of land. It is a 8 minute walk from Meguro Station on the Yamanote Loop Line and is 600 meters from Ebisu Garden Place.
The structure has been designated by Tokyo City as a Cultural Property. See below for details on heritage designations.
The sale is for the land only, with the house to be included ‘as-is’. No value has been placed on the house itself, with the land listed at approximate market value.
About the architect:
Kameki Tsuchiura studied architecture at the Tokyo University. During his studies he met Frank Lloyd Wright and went on to work in Wright’s Taliesin studio in Wisconsin in the early 1920s. Tsuchiura’s earlier house designs were heavily influenced by Wright’s style, but in the 1930s he shifted to a Bauhaus style, with white houses and buildings featuring large glass windows. The project that was said to most exemplify Tsuchiura’s work was his second residence built in 1935, which is this house currently listed for sale. The house is said to be a pioneer in the design of modern town housing.
Tsuchiura’s past works included:
- Ginza Tokuda Building, Tokyo (c1932). Demolished.
- Nonomiya Building / Apartment, Tokyo (c1936~1960s). Demolished.
- Gora Hotel, Hakone (c1938). Demolished.
- Ginza Shinepatosu, Tokyo (c1952). Demolished.
About the heritage listing:
Regulations for a registered or designated Cultural Property are less strict when compared to an Important Cultural Property. There are over 9,000 registered cultural properties across Japan, many of which are houses.
A designation means that:
- Any alterations that may change the current condition of the property may require permission from the Board of Education, unless those alterations are required to maintain the property or are for safety reasons, and cause only minimal changes.
- Financial assistance may be available for repairs to listed properties if the property owner is unable to cover the entire repair cost themselves. The amount of assistance is up to the Board of Education to decide.
- If the property is considered to have lost its historical significance, e.g. through significant alterations or if the property has been destroyed or demolished, the Board of Education has the right to remove the designation.
- Damage to a Cultural Property can incur a fine of less than 50,000 Yen.
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