Text description provided by the architects. Located on a commercial street about thirty minutes by train from the center of Tokyo, within walking distance from Shiki Station in Saitama Prefecture, this steel-frame multi-tenant building has four stories above ground and one below. The city of Shiki prospered as a commercial area on the banks of the Shingashi River during the Edo period, and in modern times developed as a major stop on the Tobu-Tojo railway line.
We began the design process by reflecting on what kind of architecture could create a new dialogue with the scenery of Shiki, which evolved in relationship to the river, greenery, and people, while also embodying the spirit of the city. One of the most important needs of a modern commercial tenant building is the pursuit of profit maximization. This project meets that need yet also allows diverse values to exist simultaneously.
With a façade of reflective colored-aluminum cladding, the building is integrated into the shopping street leading to Shiki Station, serving as the starting point for a new era for the district. The size and shape of the three front terraces differ on each floor, bringing variety to the façade. In some places they are missing part of the ceiling or floor, while in others the floor tilts up into a wall that connects with the floor above it.
The terrace surface is made of the same colored aluminum as the façade and reflects the movements of people inside and outside the building. Vines climb the wires and rods stretched between the upper and lower balcony slabs. The façade is envisioned as an iconic new architectural form, giving rise to interactions between the building and the colored aluminum.
The tenant space will be occupied in the basement and on the first floor by a food court featuring the best restaurants in and around Shiki, on the second floor by a nursery school, and on the third and fourth floors by shared offices. The terraces are well integrated with the tenant spaces, which were designed with careful attention to light, greenery, and the flow of space.