Text description provided by the architects. The site lies a few minutes away from a traditional shopping street, and is a short distance from where two main roads in Tokyo intersect. The owner requested a new multi-family dwelling building that could be uniquely adapted to the dense urban area, while at the same time would be bright and open to natural daylight. On the south side of the lot is a road with a width of 8 meters and an unpaved parking lot. The original parking lot function of the site is to be continued underneath the new building, and maintains a height capable of accommodating the stopping the microbus. Located halfway between residential and shopping areas, the site vicinity has good access to the city center of Tokyo, and is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood with people of different age groups, occupations and positions.
In an effort to respond to these conditions, several different types and sizes of dwelling units are aggregated into one building, and establishes a unified multi-family architecture informed directly by its contextual diversity. Each unit and associated parking space is combined into ‘seven blocks’ with different shapes and sizes, and is assembled into one overall volume. By adjusting the volume and shaping of each building block, we developed a configuration that fits onto the site, addresses profitability, and conforms to the building codes and specifications. Each dwelling unit contains rooms with individuality depending on the direction of the inhabitants, and is designed as minimalist spaces while coping with the overall spatial complexities. In addition the spaces situated on the south side of each dwelling unit function as privacy buffers with access to the outside, and offer a three-dimensional spatial connection edge-side to both upper and lower floors.
From the road, various elements overlap to form the street elevation. At the intermediate living spaces, a curtain is affixed to the façade to ensure privacy. The band-like massing is arranged and layered in such a way to change with the transformation from the public to the private areas. By alternating the sliced and band-shaped structural and non-structural segments, we devised a way that would also accommodate equipment wiring and piping. The rigid concrete frame structure, combined with partial load bearing walls, band-shaped flat pillars and beams produces a transparent feeling with a porous and light impression, and creates a bright and open apartment building open to the city.