It’s been over a year since we’ve dived into a juicy Garage House feature. The pandemic through the better part of last year sort of put a halt on leads for me. For 2022, I hope to explore this story angle a few more times over the course of the year, and to start back off right I have a truly special one to share.
The house, or more specifically the garage space that I’m going to share with you today is located in a quiet residential area of Southern Tokyo.
It’s a building I’m quite familiar with, as it’s only a few minutes away from my place in the buzzing metropolis. That’s why I cycled over to meet with the owner, Go Hiramatsu, for this special tour.
The white Tesla Model 3 belongs to Chiba-san, the owner of our very first Garage House feature from almost two years ago. He’s a good friend of Hiramatsu-san.
Hiramatsu’s home is designed in a very modern way, and a Japanese one at that. To my architecturally-untrained eye, it merges a contemporary interpretation of Bauhaus fused with details to highlight certain elements, textures and zones.
It’s the garage section of the house that we’re specifically going to look at today, but you can check out the entire building, as designed by Hideki Ishii, here.
We’ll start with the garage to your left as you walk into the property’s central courtyard area.
I gasped at the sight of this exotic trio, but couldn’t help notice the celebration of geometric shapes on every surface. From the stretched and elongated light-toned bricks that make up two walls of the garage, to the square cobblestones that cover the ground inside and out. But my favorite detail was the wood-textured concrete walls, highlighting the grain of the planks that were used to cast them.
The textures really do draw attention to the cars, while three large, sliding glass doors protect them from the elements.
First up in this space is a Ferrari 488 Pista, the track-focused version of the 488. The beige suede interior is a very nice detail on this car, contrasting against the subtle light metallic blue exterior.
We’ll skip the Italian hybrid next to it and move straight to the other hybrid in the garage – a Synergy Green McLaren P1
Up close, the P1 really is stunning. Not only has this hypercar stood the test of time, in my opinion it’s the best work McLaren has done. It has this organic feel about its design, a contoured shape that manages to be brutally functional but also eye-pleasingly beautiful, not to mention ridiculously aggressive.
When Hiramatsu-san picked up the P1, he used it as his daily driver, running up the mileage without a worry. McLaren even did a short film on him back in 2016, celebrating the fact that he’s an owner who knows how to enjoy his cars – check that out above.
The best part about owning a hybrid supercar – or hypercar in this case – is that when you get close to home and start driving through residential areas, you can switch to EV mode and glide into your garage in near silence to keep the neighbours happy.
This is also why Hiramatsu-san recently added a Ferrari SF90 to the fleet. It’s his freshest arrival, having just been delivered in February. We’ll get to this car in a second, but first I want to show you the opposite side of the courtyard, where there’s another three-car garage.
On this side, Hiramatsu-san keeps his Ferrari Portofino, a car he jumps into when the Tokyo weather is right for some drop-top driving.
Next to it sits a massive Lamborghini Urus finished off in satin black with fluorescent yellow accents. Of all his cars, this is the one Hiramatsu-san loves to drive the most. It has performance, comfort and plenty of space for his family.
However, the more subtle Lexus NX by far sees the most use. It’s surely a far less stressful and therefore relaxing – not to mention quiet – vehicle to drive around Tokyo in.
There’s a seventh car in the lineup, a Volkswagen Beetle convertible for when Hiramatsu-san wants to blend in but still have the ability to put the roof down.
The adjacent office/lounge space that looks out into the first garage is nothing short of a dream setup, but before I headed in there I asked Hiramatsu-san to move the SF90 into the center of the courtyard.
Which, thanks to the car’s electric mode, he did in complete silence.
I haven’t seen many of these new SF90s around, so I wanted to take it all in properly. And what a place to do that in.
I know there are people out there who are not overly happy with Ferrari doing hybrids, but when the LaFerrari released it became obvious that the technology would eventually trickle down to the ‘lesser’ models.
Except, there is nothing ‘less’ about the SF90; with 986hp – or an even 1,000PS – it packs a stronger punch than the LaFerrari.
I’m not one to fuss over purity. If there’s one car company out there that should keep up with the times and stay at the forefront of performance and tech it’s Ferrari, so to see an all-wheel drive hybrid from Maranello is fine by me – just as long as they keep delivering track-focused versions. I’ll even overlook the fact that the Purosangue is right around the corner as long it allows the cooler stuff to keep coming.
At this point in time with cars, I think it’s all about the integration, specifically how all these layers of technology and driver assistance are being handled and managed. That’s what sports cars manufacturers have to strive for; making their tech-laden cars feel natural, respond predictively and at the same time leaving you feeling like a driving god. Because with close to 1,000hp in a street car like the SF90, I personally would want all the help and safety nets available.
And that’s what I like about Hiramatsu-san – he embraces this angle in the cars that he buys. He enjoys the mix of emotions that they bring to the table and likes to experience it all. He even has a Tesla Model S Plaid on order, plus a few more Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Good on him, I say.
The little alcove next to the garage is a spot Hiramatsu-san uses for quiet work and to celebrate his passion for cars.
As soon as you walk in you’re greeted by a display cabinet of model cars – some that he has previously owned in 1:1 scale, some that he currently owns, and some that he will own in the future.
There’s a really relaxing vibe in here. Warm wood tones and leather chairs contrast the white walls, and then there’s the large window.
And the view. Wow!
Hiramatsu-san not only likes to drive his cars every day, but change them out often too. That said, I think I’ll be back sometime in the future for another look.
In the meantime, I’ll definitely have to hit up the Hakone Turnpike with Hiramatsu-san one sunny Saturday morning.
Dino Dalle Carbonare