The building is located in a residential area of central Tokyo, a mix of old temples and modern residences. The area’s main market, Kagurazaka, is known for its centuries of cultural history. From its main street, alleyways branch off with hidden charms. We attempted to design a collective housing that would fit into the rich context of this area.

Project Name: Modelia Brut KAGURAZAKA
Studio Name: SASAKI ARCHITECTURE
Project size: 428 m2
Site size: 169 m2
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 5
Location: TOKYO, Japan
Photography: Takumi Ota

5090 Modelia Brut KAGURAZAKA by SASAKI ARCHITECTURE: Sheet 1
View of Kitchen Space ©Takumi Ota

The gently stepped approach is filled with nuances reminiscent of the symbolic slopes of the past. The approach is finished with Japanese tiles and the walls are paved with sheet concrete. At night, a subdued light illuminates the alley through the square wooden frames in the walls.

The facade, finished in fine fair-faced concrete, is given a characteristic shade by the square openings. The openings are slightly recessed from the surface and framed by a wood texture. The openings are gradually displaced to let in light, wind, and views while avoiding the direct line of sight. This arrangement of openings also attempts to reduce the heavyweight of the concrete.

5090 Modelia Brut KAGURAZAKA by SASAKI ARCHITECTURE: Sheet 2
Exterior ©Takumi Ota

The interior shows a vivid yet exquisitely simple contrast of materials. Some walls are pure white, while others are finished with exposed concrete. There are also walnut accents: baseboards made from scraps of walnut furniture, shoeboxes with a chic texture, and a kitchen with a balance of walnut and stainless steel. The spaces in each room are unexpectedly diverse in form, creating different atmospheres that reflect the complex depth of the city. The interiors have been consciously designed to stimulate the residents’ ideas about living. For example, the open storage space can be used as a compact study.

5090 Modelia Brut KAGURAZAKA by SASAKI ARCHITECTURE: Sheet
Interior ©Takumi Ota

The minimalist design of the housing complex, which makes the most of materials and space, proposes a life without relying on things, a life of abundance without possessions. Minimalism is directly connected to the way of life.

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