For years, the city of Tachikawa functioned primarily as a suburb of Tokyo, but recent redevelopment around the main train station has transformed it into a modern urban area. Perhaps due to the influence of these redevelopment projects, the atmosphere on the old residential streets outside the new district changes to a disorderly mix of apartment complexes and parking lots. Neither district offers a particularly pleasant environment.
Company name : Love Architecture Inc.
Architecture : Yukio Asari
Photography : Masao Nishikawa
Location : Tokyo, Japan
Date of Completion : March 2018
Principal Use : Rental apartment
Structure : Wooden construction
Site Area : 558.67m2
Total Floor Area :706.23m2 (255.76m2/1F, 227.99m2/2F, 222.48m2/3F)
Structural Engineer : Nakamura Tsuguho
Mechanical Engineer : Hiroyuki Sakamaki
Exterior Finish (Wall) : Resin based plastering
Exterior Finish (Floor) : Natural stone/Decomposed granite soil
Floor : Oak flooring, Urethane clear paint/ Tile finish
Wall : Cross
Ceiling : Cross
The surroundings of Kenzanso are no exception, with rental apartments in oversupply. My approach to providing yet another such building was not to pursue economic efficiency but rather to offer what people really want from their living environment: pleasant public spaces with abundant greenery and warm elegance.
Instead of maximizing the building-to-land ratio or floor-area ratio, I left as much open ground as possible. The design takes advantage of the L-shaped lot with roads on two sides by lacing the property with several meandering foot paths that connect to the city streets, turning the site into a public space that anyone can use and seamlessly integrating it with the city.
These garden-like paths are not necessarily easy to walk on, due to the use of rocks and hard-packed earth. They twist and turn considerably because existing trees and other plants were maintained, evoking mountain trails created by chance.
Each unit has a different layout to ensure the fullest connection possible to the gardens, but measures were also taken to maintain an appropriate degree of privacy from these public spaces, such as enclosing balconies with walls and setting back ground-floor rooms. The exterior walls therefore have many protruding and recessed areas which are intricately interwoven with twelve exterior staircases. Because the upper and lower floors are not structurally aligned, numerous independent columns are visible both inside and outside.
After construction was completed, I happened to see a child try to run down one of garden paths, only to have her mother tell her she mustn’t go onto someone else’s property. I wanted to shout out that it was perfectly fine to run down those paths. The aim of the project, after all, was to experiment with a design that changed the boundary line severing the property from the surrounding community into a more ambiguous outline by harmonizing architecture and landscaping, and in doing so, gently connect building and city, public and private space.