Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Architects: SAKAE Architects & Engineers Lead Architects: Eisuke Yamazaki and Toshio Yoshikawa Design Cooperation: Hiroshi Sakaguchi General Contractor: Kaneko Komuten Client: Sayo Yamazaki Photographers: Koji Fujii and Yuichi Higurashi
The project is to rebuild a residential building on a small site of Tokyo *Kiba. For adaptation of the various lifestyles and improving the added value of the building, the architects designed multiple spaces by using exceptional cases of maisonnette style housing to the building standard law.
Also, the architects attempted to put the building in harmony with the historic site of Kiba which was known for lumber dealings. the architects try to make new values and new lifestyles from the inside, and to show historical and cultural heritage from the outside.
*Kiba: “Ki” means wood, and “ba” means town. The capability of a small residential building in a city. the architects have been witnessing the problems of the deterioration of old buildings and the excess number of open spaces on a small site of Tokyo lately. In fact, most of these properties have been wiped out by the urban renewal. In this project, the architects endeavored to explore the capability of a small residence on a small site in the center of Tokyo.
In order to adapt the various lifestyles of the city as well as maximize the potential of the small building, the architects designed the structure with multiple spaces based on the lifestyle despite the strict restrictions given by the size of the site. Therefore, the architects accomplished to have three different types of housings, namely a residence for one person (Type A), a couple (Type B) and a family with children (Type C) in a single building. Even though the size of the building is small, the different types of housings are being together, therefore constructed the fine community of a residence in a city.
As for the site, due to the huge quantity of the land as well as the access to the water in the center of Edo Tokyo, there used to be lots of lumber retailers that had its lumbers piled up in front of the store as well as leaned against its entrance in Kiba.
However, since most of the business moved its location to Shin (New) – Kiba in 1981, the architects no longer see the original landscape. Taking these issues into consideration, the facade of the building is designed by an image of the original landscape of Kiba. The facade consists of two elements, the latticework, and the wooden louver.
A design of the grid windows and sashes comes from the Kouraiya latticework, which is one of the most iconic latticework of the Edo period. The wooden louver reminds us of the original landscape of Kiba which was the lumber leaned against the entrance of a lumber retail shop vertically.
In this project, the architects took account of these previously mentioned factors in terms of the design for the inside and the outside of the building. Namely, not only did the architects attempt to endeavor the capability of a small residence in a city, the architects also put effort into recreating the landscape of Edo Tokyo Kiba.