The project site is in Tokyo, Yotsuya located in a quiet residential area right behind the Shinjuku Street. This area holds many temples, shrines and also fairly dense housing. Like a spreading network of space, those houses and complexes fill the blank spaces between the streets and alleys. In this scheme, 2 void spaces were provided within the building mass as functioning staircases. With these compact staircases, the floor area of the rental area is increased.
The void space is linked with each residential unit’s balconies as continuous Tree-Shaped Void Space and spread throughout the balconies, towards the gaps in neighboring residential buildings, the courtyard, the passage at the back, and the neighboring apartment corridors.
All the dwelling units have either balcony spaces or terraces. Walking into a dwelling unit from the staircase, through the dwelling unit, and come out to the balcony, the staircase appears once again. The far end of each unit is linked with the entrance area at front through the void. Keeping the great sense of privacy in the unit layout, this void is meant to create a sense of community and encourages interactions among dwellers.
Concrete texture of this project is one of the important design criteria. In comparison with the surrounding buildings, the volume of this complex is relatively larger, but it still balances up with the scale of the surrounding buildings with its appearance; harsh cast concrete finish was softened with wood texture to create friendly and harmonious appearance.Location: Tokyo, Japan Architect: Key Operation Inc. Architects Photos: Toshihiro Sobagima