The assignment is to design a “palazzo” in Aoyama. The site is located on the boundary of a “block”, which is a typical component of urban area in Tokyo. It is a transition area between low-dense social housing area and a main commercial street with high-rises standing along.
The concept of the project is to create two kinds of distinctive spaces in one building with open spaces in lower floors and private spaces in upper floors. It is designed to deal with the complex functions, which is supposed to be the key characteristic for a Tokyo palazzo. In consideration of the urban fabric, the volume continues the interface of the street in the same height with the next building. In the lower part, ward office is set to be the primary function, which can be a core to combine public functions for the community. There is a wide open shared space in the ground floor to link the two sides of the site and different functions are organized in the form of blocks to make the remaining part floating spaces. In the upper part, office and apartments act as introverted spaces showing another face of this building. Also, the apartments take the form of a patio in the middle to echo the two typical cases of palazzo nearby.
The House in Vail, CO, is proof that complexity and contradiction lead to ambiguity and richness of meaning. It consists of two different sorts of verticality: one articulated via the site context, the other contained by a sheer surface. North and south elevations are totally different, and the perception of the house from outside and inside is likewise contradictory. The scale of the roof and façade elements contributes to perceptual ambiguity- the real height is never directly revealed. Inside, depending on the height at which the observer is positioned, the house is perceived as either a tower or a small studio. By playing on this characteristic, while keeping the Tokyo context in mind, our new proposal suggests a building, divided into two parts, with mixed functions linked by an out of scale stair and a bridge that also inflates the perceived scale.
From the road, the entry is ambiguous, for there is no door in the main façade. Instead, it is located at the back. On the front left-hand side, a big stair emerges and continues along the whole site, as well as inside the building. It is the connection between the single parts of the house and its more unified surface that make it a whole. The outside is a semi-public space. Also, the way in which each external part is expressed separately does not encourage any visual connection with what is going on inside.
The difference between the House in Vail and our de sign lies in the act of traversal. In the former, the occupant or visitor must decide whether to take the stairs or the bridge. The new design proposes an architectural promenade, using both these elements as a continuous passage though the site. Robert Venturi’s so-called inclusive design method has promoted our understanding of the design and its articulation.
The Palazzo in Ebisu is located in a vivid area of the city, with a walking distance from Shibuya and a numerous schools and shopping streets nearby. The conceptual idea and aim for this building is to be the heart of this area where people of different ages, ideas and profession can meet and integrate with each other and the city.
Walking from Shibuya you meet the northern short end facade of glass and bricks from where you can choose to go along the green river side or the urban street side. From Meiji Dori Street you can enter the building through two main entrances that leads through the whole building and connects the riverside with the street. This circulation through the building is also the place where people and function meets and integrate.
The main function of this building is the SOHO, small office/home office, which provide a living and working space for self employed or small companies. The idea to put many small but luxurious SOHO’s is not only to finance the building but to create a platform for young entrepreneurs to develop relationships and share ideas that could benefit the city.
The assignment is to design a “palazzo” for Tokyo in Sasazuka. The site is characterized by a large elevated expressway right in front of the building. Our design reacts to the difficult site condition by positioning a mix of functions on different levels, corresponding to the quality of that level, or lack thereof. Public, commercial spaces can be found on the ground floor, while parking space is positioned at the level of the expressway, finally, the levels above the expressway, which have the highest spatial quality, are reserved for apartments with a view.
In Tokyo, cars dispose of a complex network of domestic, local and metropolitan roadways. Our project aims to hack this system using the bike, and make every street in Tokyo more bikeable.
We first categorized different streets into types. Each type provides a different set of functions. Some are very straight and fast, easy to pursue through the city and others are more lively and narrow. Our goal is not to make all streets the same (as this often happens with bike lanes) but rather to maintain each type’s special character. The picture we had always in mind was one of a ski resort, where different slopes are marked out by different colors that identify very different experiences.