Koenji, Japan
Project Year
Private Houses
Nacasa & Partners


N MAEDA ATELIER as Architects

FLAMINGO is a pair of small architectures each only having a built area of 20 m2, rising in a boisterous city environment between a national highway and an elevated railway.

A small building plot means that the interests regarding the space are inevitably drawn up vertically, that is, toward the cross-sectional design.

The "rules" here is a configuration using a "cross-sectional C-shape" frame. Making "cross-sectional C-shape" frames which differ slightly in the vertical direction to face one another generates not only the floors to serve as living space, but also generates openings and vaulted ceilings. Such architectural components are not intentionally created, rather, they naturally arise from setting the "rules". For example, all openings except for the two escape openings are generated purely from these "rules".

Also, due to the extraordinarily small floor area, "passing points" such as the stairwell are also used as the bath, lavatory, study, and so forth. Such a program should be a viable option in areas where land prices are prohibitively high, such as Tokyo. Instead of conceiving the size and shapes of rooms according to how they will be used, and then working out the puzzle of how to realize them, this method for room layout first sets the "rules", and then later decides which space will become which room, with no more than "it just happens to look right". This allows the actions of the dweller to be freer from the program laid down by the architect.

While FLAMINGO may be astonishingly small, its naked frame appears to be standing tall and unyielding in the throes of the surrounding urban ugliness.

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