Shugoin

Tokyo, Japan
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Photo © Katsuhisa Kida
Architects
Love Architecture Inc.
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Year
2013

The site is in a city block between a highway and a shopping street and resembles a sandbank. In Syugoin, adjustment of the public-private relationship was attempted in two different dimensions: (1) a dynamic approach to activate the public and private by new boundaries, and (2) a static approach to being public.

The building was built with the upper limit of building coverage, 80%. Instead of using the remaining 20% as a common space, the area is open to the public as a pass-through passage to connect the north and south sides of the town. Two entrances for the residences are made on the north and south sides. Four blocks of residences are connected with only two staircases, in order to keep an open sky view. By spatially making the staircases and balconies in the pass-through passage area, an option to pass by or a dynamism for meeting with various people are simultaneously created, involving passersby, shop visitors, shop workers, people who leave or arrive at the residences, and residents who stay on the balcony.

For the south and north facades, openwork bricks and running bond bricks are used, respectively. As a result, the only indications that the passage goes through to the next street are the gaping holes in the privacy-protecting walls along the streets.

Such exterior adjustments of relationships are also effective for interiors. Each household has two types of openings with different natures: one faces towards the street with openwork bricks and aluminum sashes, and another faces towards the pass-through passage with wooden sashes. The former shuts out the chaotic townscape, while allowing dot-shaped lights to go through, resembling sunlight passing through leaves. Meanwhile, around the latter, plaster walls, and beyond, discolored bricks, rough joints, plated metal handles, curtain pipes, and so on can be seen.

A building that organizes all relationships among residents, users, as well as passersby and cars, by manipulation of building boundaries, will be rooted in the town someday. When high quality individuals gather, true publicity will be born.

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