In the eastern part of central Tokyo, on a very narrow lot of just 48 sqm, Hiroyuki Ito Architects’ client aims at fulfilling the maximum building volume: therefore, the project rises up to the tenth floor while, in order to be earthquake-proof, it sinks for 50 meters into the Tokyo Bay’s sandy underground. Its reinforced concrete structure, adopted as it effectively absorbs both the city’s constant rumble and the vibrations provoked by the subway passing nearby, might easily prove a very cumbersome presence within such a slender building. Hiroyuki Ito Architects, though, are able to transform this constraint into an opportunity.
All of the irregular voids shaped by the grid of massive structural elements are turned into usable spaces (in the shape of alcoves, recesses, elevated and lowered rooms), providing a clear articulation of the flats’ interiors. This is the smart solution to a specific issue, as well as a sensible architecture transcription of the specific Japanese way of living the house. As beams and pillars get thinner while moving upwards, according to the lower charge that they have to bear, plans and sections slightly change on each floor. Hiroyuki Ito Architects intentionally refuse to define uniform, standard measurements, in order to create flexible spaces with no precise, binding functional definition, which can be eventually converted to other uses (such as an office space). It is a remarkable attempt to “last”, in the context of Tokyo where architectural renewal and the production of related waste still evolves at a hectic and barely sustainable rate.
- Tatsumi Apartments
- Hiroyuki Ito Architects
- Jun Sato structural engineering
- 48 sqm