Futabasou 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

Team:

Architects: Masashi Miyamoto Architects / mmar

Photographers: Yasuhiro Hamasaki, Yoshihiro Koitani

Caption

Materials Used: 

Exterior: Rein-forced concrete、Breeze blocks
Interior: Wall -Plywood
Floor - Composition vinyl floor tiles, Rubber tiles

Caption
Caption
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Curtains, TexitileMuji
Product Spec Sheet
Curtains, Texitile
by Muji
Products Behind Projects
Product Spotlight
News
Design of new CIA Conad HQ by tissellistudioarchitetti resists orthogonality and symmetry
21 Jun 2024 News
Design of new CIA Conad HQ by tissellistudioarchitetti resists orthogonality and symmetry

Italian architectural studio tissellistudioarchitetti has designed the Sidera building as a new head... More

Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village
21 Jun 2024 News
Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village

Located in Seyedbar-Jadgal village in Southern Iran, the Jadgal School by Daaz was commissioned afte... More

Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango join Archello Awards 2024 jury
21 Jun 2024 Archello Awards
Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango join Archello Awards 2024 jury

Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango have been announced as Archello... More

UNStudio completes Munich residential building with versatile plug-in partition and furniture system
20 Jun 2024 News
UNStudio completes Munich residential building with versatile plug-in partition and furniture system

International architecture and design practice UNStudio has recently completed the “Van B&rdqu... More

ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation
19 Jun 2024 News
ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation

Iranian architectural office ZAV Architects features in Archello’s 25 best architecture firms... More

Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex
19 Jun 2024 News
Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex

Meise Botanic Garden, one of the world's largest botanical gardens, recently inaugurated the Green A... More

Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen
18 Jun 2024 News
Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen

ARCity Office embarked on a project that would establish a new typology of “bricolage architec... More

BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed
17 Jun 2024 News
BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed

Prague-based BYRÓ architekti has completed a small and contemporary charred wood-clad garden... More