Kitasenzoku Apartment

"As you find in Silicon Valley of the United States, I would like to produce a model case near Tokyo Institute of Technology, creating and developing a synergistic cycle for this university, companies and the neighboring towns".

This wish of a client was realized as a project to design and build an architectural complex at the site near the university, consisting of the office of the client’s company, the shared-room style student residences, and the residences for the staff members and the client.

This site is located within the shopping district near the university. An entrance hall is situated along with a town street and opened to the city, so that the open area can be used as a lecture space for the students, or as a casual drop-by space for any city residents. The common hallway from the entrance hall is also designed as the extending passage from the town street, equipped with benches, lightings and plants for creating the atmosphere of a city street. A shared space used by the students is also opened to this common hallway, producing a casual and inviting atmosphere for the staff members. The whiteboard paint finish of the wall in this space allows them to draw on the wall, promoting casual and daily discussions among students and staff members. There is a private space for the students separated by the tunnel-like space behind the staircase.

The building form was derived from the calculations of setback and shadow-casting regulations, while the volume of the building was defined by the necessary areas and spaces for the residences and users–as a result, balconies are produced as gaps between those two design criteria in three-dimensional manner. While those balconies could be shared by the residents through void spaces with maintaining their own privacies, such three-dimensional condition does not clearly divide the void space into pieces for an attached property of a particular residence.

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The Penthouse at Smith Tower

Because this building has a prominent volume within the surrounding neighborhood, there is no clear and distinguishable front or back side of the building. The building volume is reduced by the sense of openness created by the openings on all elevations of the building.

It is intended to design a building focusing on the relationships among people, or a building and the urban environment–and hopefully this building helps develop intimate communication between the client and residents, among residents, and even with the students and city residents to become part of such communication.

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