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  • Modelia Days NAKANOBU

    Apartment | Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
    New build: 338.94㎡ | Completed: January 2016
    Photographs: Takumi Ota

    Nakanobu is a town along a national highway in southern central Tokyo. Traditional pastry shops and Jazz festivals in this commercial district draw both the young and the old. The project faces a lively shopping street (shoten-gai) on the corner where a public bath and newspaper delivery station are also located. To contextualize the design, the building was kept low at four floors above ground with 12 units, in line with the scale of the surrounding buildings.
    The openings, which shift from the lower to upper floors, seek to assuage the massive and oppressive atmosphere that concrete often gives, in favor of a lighter feel. The approach is only 6m to the street. Therefore, the path to the entrance was pulled in further into the site to offer a sense of quiet and privacy. The common area is minimized and the floor plans are simple and efficient. The units comprise only white walls and exposed concrete. Details were kept simple to eliminate excess. The design sought to offer minimalism in line with the lifestyle of the inhabitants.
    On the exterior, the square metal window frames extrude out towards the street and casts various shadows throughout the day, giving unique character to the facade. These square frames also pulls in the scenery of the surrounding area, which is a mix of the old and the new, into the rooms. Moreover, by making the openings big relative to the room area and the distance to the neighboring structures, the rooms can enjoy more light and air. At the same time, these openings can be opened and closed so that the resident can control his sense of connection to the neighborhood. These windows frame the vivid scenery of the shoten-gai, as if a picture frame that adds color to the silent walls of the rooms inside.