Bridging the gap between nature and architecture, the Tokyo-based architecture office of Akihisa Hirata have designed an organic residential complex in Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan to break the typical layered architectural form seen very often in residential architecture. The result is very ambiguous interior and exterior spaces creating a more dynamic experience for its users. More images and architect’s description after the break.
The building’s program is a residential complex and tenant spaces located in Tokyo. The site has a narrow width and long depth, allowing for a narrow profile volume to be assumed from the condition. In contrast to typical layered architecture which only stacks floors, this design aims to create an organic layering system. The design includes objects which typical architecture doesn’t count in, such as exterior spaces and the street to generate spaces that are 3-dimensional. For example, much like a tree creates spaces in the air, the design creates a tangled space which is ambiguous in interior-exterior for the people.
By composing boxes, a layered volume with voids is created. Inside the boxes, there are closed spaces like bedrooms and outside boxes are for the terraces or open interior spaces enclosed by glass. Boxes have pleated openings and this allows the ambiguity of the inside-outside relationship. Around these pleats, greenery is planted and this creates 3-dimensional gardens on the perimeter of the building. The arrangement of functional volumes and voids, openings, and greenery tangles and integrates into an organic whole.
The design aims to develop the possibility of nature-like architecture in other projects too, but the design developed further more in this project. The trunk and leaves have a different appearance but the same quality in the foundation and this relationship creates an organic layering structure for architecture. The design releases this new architectural principle which is able to connect a complex ecosystem to the city.
Architect: Akihisa Hirata Location: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan Structural engineers: Structural Design Office OAK Mechanical engineers: EOS plus Co.,LTD / Comodo Co.,LTD Principal use: residence, rental rooms, gallery Site area: 138.7 m2 Building area: 112.0 m2 Total floor area: 409.3 m2 Structure: RC Number of stories: 6 stories Design period: January 2009 – present Photographs: Courtesy of Akihisa Hirata