Casa Eri is a modern single-family house located in Tokyo, Japan, designed in 2021 by YSLA Architects.


Casa Eri is a house for a family with 2 kids. The family currently lived in an apartment in Tokyo but wanted to move out of the city center and closer to the grandparents’ house. After looking for a place to build their new house they decided to build it in the same plot as their grandparents.

We wanted to design the new house keeping the values of the existing grandparents’ house, views and sunlight. At the same time, we wanted to design an outdoor space for the families to encounter.

When we first visited the site, the owner brought us around the property to meet the neighbors. We start the visit going from the garden, went to the back patio, to the neighbor’s patio through the neighbor’s field… This relation between patios and garden was as fluid and natural as the relation between neighbors, as natural as the relation between families. We wanted to design a house that was part of this environment.

The grandparents’ house had a tatami room in the ground floor for the nieces to play and stay over. This was also the room in which every year the Hinakazari (Girl’s festival decoration) was displayed. We designed the new patio and the new house around this area, creating an outdoor space, a patio, in between the two houses. A place for the families to meet while keeping independence and privacy.

The living spaces of the house, the dinning and the “goro goro” space, were developed around this outdoor patio while the dormitory was placed in the second floor and designed as a tatami room. The sliding doors of the dormitory’s closet are decorated, as in the traditional Japanese fusuma, in order to express the character of the inhabitants. A work station was also designed in the ground floor with the possibility of being connected or isolated from the living areas and with special attention to the light and privacy.

Originally in Japanese “goro” symbolized the sound of something rolling, so goro goro serves to talk about lying down or turning over. With the time goro goro became lying down at home, spending time doing nothing special. That’s how we imagined the living area, the goro goro space, a flexible area in which each family member can decide what to do and how to do it. A fluid space to lay, to sit, to walk, to read, to paint, to watch, to do origami, ikebana,…or to do nothing. Placed in between the dining and the second floor dormitory this space adds a new dimension of distension in between night activities and daily functions. Is a place for the family, parents and children to relax, to come together, to exchange, to communicate, a space for active relaxation. Goro goro space is the place the children will remember in the future.

In the second floor we find the dormitory whose sliding doors are decorated, as in the traditional Japanese fusuma, in order to express the character of the inhabitants.

Photography courtesy of YSLA Architects

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