Futabasou Apartments

Futabasou Apartments

Architect
Masashi Miyamoto Architects / mmar
Location
Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Apartments
©Yoshihiro Koitani

Futabasou Apartments

Masashi Miyamoto Architects / mmar as Architects

A housing complex consisting of six units, planned for spring 2019 and completed in autumn 2021. Located in Shitamachi Tokyo, it is in the heart of a quiet residential area with a local shrine and shopping district, as well as many long term residents.

photo_credit ©Yasuhiro Hamasaki
©Yasuhiro Hamasaki

This housing project aims to provide a space for "Life and Work" that can accommodate one or two people, couples, siblings, or friends, as well as those who need a home and office, and who need a place to live and work. We created this space by considering what a comfortable space means for the residents, and at the same time, how this space could compliment the local area.                              

photo_credit ©Yasuhiro Hamasaki
©Yasuhiro Hamasaki

In recent years, the design of many apartment complexes has limited the choices of residents’ expression and lifestyle. Our aim was to create a flexible space where residents would be able to create a base for various activities that went beyond simply a place to return to after work to sleep.

photo_credit ©Yasuhiro Hamasaki
©Yasuhiro Hamasaki

The volume of Futabasou is arranged in such a way that it resembles a pile of clay or soft yokan [1]slices, one on top of the other, in order to eliminate the brutal-looking concrete and to harmonise with the neighboring houses and the surrounding area. While the materials and textures of the entire exterior are consistent, each unit has an individual character that functions independently rather than forming a single mass. Each ‘slice’ as a single unit is constructed to serve as a single building block and as a single structure. The space between each unit creates a main circulation area that leads to courtyards and terraces, a staircase, and to the common area, creating a three-dimensional pathway into the building. The aim is that by changing the perception of each unit to a 'home' rather than a 'room', people will form a stronger attachment to the space.

photo_credit ©Yasuhiro Hamasaki
©Yasuhiro Hamasaki

In Shitamachi areas there is a tradition of cherishing small alleys. Neighbors exchange greetings as they pass each other, and people passing by are entertained by small gardens that resemble the "nokisaki" [2]of individual homes.

photo_credit ©Koki Yamamoto
©Koki Yamamoto

In FUTABASOU, by connecting with the adjoining alleys, our intention is to continue the traditions of the alleys cherished by the residents of the neighborhood, and to create an expression of the alleys that continues through the building from the exterior to the living room.

photo_credit ©Koki Yamamoto
©Koki Yamamoto

In order to create a space that is open to the alley, breeze blocks with a motif of traditional Japanese bamboo weaving patterns have been used on the exterior walls of the stairs and courtyard, creating an airy alley while preserving the privacy of the residents. These blocks allow light to pour in and out. During the day, the blocks admit light into the building, and after dusk, the building itself illuminates the alley like a traditional stone lantern. 

photo_credit ©mmar
©mmar

At the entrance to each apartment, a display shelf is provided as a space where residents can express their individuality, much like the "nokisaki" of individual houses in the neighborhood that are often used as a place to express residents’ identity.

photo_credit ©Yoshihiro Koitani
©Yoshihiro Koitani

The interior of the dwelling is a single large space that can be partitioned with curtains into "living room", "bedroom", "Hiroen"[3], and "work room" according to the residents' purposes. A courtyard or terrace with windows allows for air and light to circulate through all areas of the space including kitchen and bathroom.

photo_credit ©Yasuhiro Hamasaki
©Yasuhiro Hamasaki

[1] Yokan is a Japanese confection made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. It is normally comes in a  gelled block form, and eaten in slices.

[2] Nokisaki is a term for a small space between a house and an adjacent alley.

[3] Hiroen is a narrow space between the outside and inside that is seen in traditional Japanese houses. Hiroen is usually located at the perimeter of the house adjacent to the garden, and transparent or translucent screens are used to allow maximum light into the house.

Caption
Caption
Caption
Caption
Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Curtains, TexitileMuji
Product Spec Sheet
Curtains, Texitile
by Muji
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand
25 May 2022 News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand

In Hangzhou, China, the Golong Wormhole by PINES ARCH is an experimental space for events and exhibi... More

Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape
25 May 2022 News
Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape

In the Flemish Ardennses, Villa RS by JUMA Architects is situated in a picturesque landscape with ch... More

Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context
24 May 2022 News
Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context

In the small Mallorca town of Llubi, this new kindergarten by Aixopluc Architects is located on a pe... More

25 best architecture firms in Mexico City
23 May 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a number of outstanding, epoch-defining architectural firms. Its contemporary... More

New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden
22 May 2022 News
New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden

In Tilburg, NL, the new Nardinc wing of the Singer Museum by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten houses th... More

Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople
22 May 2022 News
Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople

Located in Bani Jamrah, Bahrain, the Al Naseej Factory by Leopold Banchini is a textile weaving faci... More

Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years
20 May 2022 News
Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years

The neoclassical building was built between 1850 and 1855 to a design by Johannes van Maurik as a na... More

82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects
20 May 2022 News
82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects

In addition to restoring the original Museum Arnhem building, complete with characteristic historic... More