Text description provided by the architects. The challenge for Katsutoshi Sasaki was to create a place of residence in a neighborhood of Gifu, Japan that was claustrophobic and allowed little access to natural light and privacy. The resulting project, called HARBOR, is a residence that challenges the crowded residential area and secures access of light and air for its residents while also providing access to the nature.
The concept for this project called for first envisioning the property as a full volume that met the requirements of the requested area size. Following this assessment, area above and below the volume were proceeded to be cut away to reveal voids in the volume of the structure.
These voids, which increased the surface area and created a faceted facade to the street also became the place where the concept takes full form. The void is where nature and architecture meet. These mixed space areas, which are essentially inner courtyards, windows and common walkways, provide a source of light, air, and nature to be further integrated into the residential life of the inhabitants.
Residential units face the inside of each of the courtyards that they surround, with 2-3 bedrooms each. This shared space among the units allows light and air to enter the essential living areas of the apartments and also provides an added level of interaction among the residents in each unit. Katsutoshi Sasaki was able to develop a design that provided a sense of nature among the living spaces in an otherwise crowded and claustrophobic residential area.