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Ja+U: The Latest Architecture and News

Video: Studio Beneath the Railway + Step Plaza

Beneath an elevated railway in the former red-light district of Kogane-cho, the city of Yokohama and NPO Koganecho Area Management Center commissioned five architects to transform a 100 to 150 square meter site into what is now a destination for local artists and residents. Each practice - Contemporaries, Studio 2A, Workstation, Koizumi Atelier, and Nishikura Architectural Design Office - was assigned a single project, providing the community with a gallery, cafe, studio, meeting hall for artists, and stepped outdoor plaza. Tour through each space with this video, provided by JA+U.

Video: House T / Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

House T, designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, is a unique two person house and office located in Tokyo, Japan. The house is only accessible by a narrow alley and is surrounded on all sides by other buildings, so space was a major challenge for this design. The interior of House T is surprisingly airy and open thanks to having only one central column supporting catwalk floors that frame the limited space instead of occupying it. Each floor can be navigated using 4.6 foot tall openings and floors are connected by a stair or ladder, one of which leads to a roof terrace. Take a look at this video by JA+U and our earlier article for a better understanding of this novel space!

Video: Water / Cherry by Kengo Kuma Associates

The Water / Cherry House by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma Associates is located on a cliff along one of Japan's many beautiful coastlines. The home is a series of separate enclosures connected by open-air walkways that run between water and rock landscapes, fusing interior and exterior spaces into one. Various screens in the house can be opened to further connect living spaces with the outdoors, exposing panoramic vistas onto the home's lush, peaceful surroundings to create a structure that is truly in tune with its natural environment. Check out this video by JA+U for a tour!

Video: Izu Book Cafe / Atelier Bow-Wow

Two Izu retirees hired architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima to design them a home equipped with a neighborhood bookshop and cafe. The Japanese practice stepped up to the challenge and constructed an elegant, curved structure whose white walls and wooden ceiling hug the hundred degree undulating street on which its located and embraces the wooded forest it backs to. The home - which features two bedrooms, a kitchen, cafe, bookshop and atelier - is accessed beneath a bridged part of the structure and organized as a sequence. Take a tour through this interesting space with this short video made by JA+U Magazine.

Video: Uto Elementary School / CAt

This minimalist elementary school, located in Kumamoto and designed by Japanese architects Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu (CAt), is designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor space. Within the building, individual classrooms and spaces are loosely formed by L-shaped walls that feature foldable doors and flexible components. An abundance of courtyards and airy walkways are just some of the highlights, along with a wood deck activity space found on top of the roof.

Video via JA+U.

Video: Overlapped House / Chika Kijima Architect's Office + O.F.D.A.

Chika Kijima Architect’s Office + O.F.D.A. transformed a cluster of three existing homes into this work/live haven for a pair of musicians. The naturally lit interiors of the single-story Overlapped House features a studio, kitchen, hall, ample amounts of storage and a well-buffered sleeping quarters.

JA+U Interviews Japanese Architect Shinichi Ogawa

In this video, JA+U interviews minimalist Japanese architect Shinichi Ogawa of Shinichi Ogawa and Associates. Ogawa describes the “austerity” and “organization” of minimalist design in regard to different projects. In residences, where flexibility and options are important, he says that the minimalistic approach grants a wide range of possibilities, providing open and flexible spaces that connect with the site. Ogawa describes the a range of projects that use simple forms and expressions to interact with the environment and accentuate the surroundings.