Ridge Apartment Complex in Gunma / SNARK + OUVI

© Ippei Shinzawa

Architects: SNARK + OUVI
Location: Takasaki city,
Project team: Sunao Koase, Yu Yamada, Shin Yokoo
Structural Engineer: Shin Yokoo (OUVI)
Landscape: Atsuo Ota / Acid Nature 0220 
Completion: 2012
Project Area: Site area 708.75 sqm (W) + 679.68 sqm (E)
Photographs: Ippei Shinzawa


© Ippei Shinzawa

At the present day, apartment of local city is built based on economic rationality and a needs of tenant. Those apartments are based on real estate value, such as one bedroom flat which can secure as many number of households as possible, wooden whose construction cost is cheap, and arrangement of the dwelling on south side of the site. Inheriting the form, I included a boundary which had big space in the conventional apartment so that lead a richer life.

One Bedroom Flat At first, the room arrangement of one bedroom flat is disassembled, and make big one room in order to give as roomy as possible in a required area. Plan of every dwelling unit is almost same but section is not same at all. I design the section of every dwelling unit carefully from the every situation – position of the room, line of sight from a peripheral road, and roof shape. As a result, shape of windows and undulation of ceilings is each different.

© Ippei Shinzawa

Although it is a one room, feel each room by the undulating ceiling and waist-high partition wall when, in each place. We can feel depth in a one room owing to arrange dwellings in such a way as to well light a room and blow through the wind from south to north, and give elevation difference to a floor in order to make a closet under a floor. Undulation of ceilings and difference in floor levels control line of sight and light. A shadow provides density of light and shade for the place.

The problem of wooden apartments is round . Caused by light material, vibration from the upper floor gets across to a lower storey easily (of course also in the next dwelling). I consider the problem, dwellings don t share walls and ceilings with adjoining dwellings. A base material of ceiling is light gauge steel. Therefore, base materials separate from beams by build over base materials in interval of pillar-pillar, in the same way of a beam for supporting the floor.

© Ippei Shinzawa

In regard to the next room wall, a pillar is arranged alternately two rows and wall thickness is increased. Simultaneously, in a part of roof, this double pillar supports the each different roof. Thereby, construction of roof form is also made easy. Apparently, the thickness of a wall and a ceiling seems useless. But it function as equipment that reduces sound from the upper floor and the next dwelling. Namely, all dwellings that have no parting wall are several isolated.

© Ippei Shinzawa

The exterior of a building Gunma is the car society and, a car ownership rate per person of Gunma is the highest in Japan. The transportation by car expands a sphere of life, and this is special locality of Gunma. Usually, a context of creating architectures is quoted from a neighborhood and small area where we can go on foot. However, I quote a context from a wider range in this case and, design it by a macro scale of the scenery.


The roof form which is conscious of the form of peripheral mountains (Mt.Akagi, Mt.Haruna and Mt.Asama) adapt to peripheral scenery. In the case of apartment, a tenant experiences only own dwelling, and it shares the exterior of a building with each other. Always a difference between apartment and detached house is important matter.

It will have the new value beyond the conventional apartment, when tenants of the apartment acquire 殿 sensation of living in a detached house . Every ridge such as ream of slant roof, undulation of ceiling show the new form of the apartment in this area that is able to link the sense of the resident to “wide neighborhood” that is a local characteristic of Gunma.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Ridge Apartment Complex in Gunma / SNARK + OUVI" 28 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=238478>
  • Als

    The apartments are fine and thanks for the nice drawings but the google translated text is just pathetic.
    Still, good architectural work.