Kazuko Akamatsu, Kumiko Inui, and Erika Nakagawa lead us through recently completed and in-progress work
Models Talk is a series of three videos produced by the CCA with Kayoko Ota and Studio Gross that profile recently completed and in-progress works of architectural design emerging from today’s Japanese context. In each video, an architect leads us through their project, guiding the viewer through the problems, concepts, and inventive propositions that underlie the work.
A Neighbourhood in A House: Erika Nakagawa
The so-called “pencil building,” a multi-story building occupying an extremely thin plot in Tokyo, is taken here as an experiment to cultivate possibilities generated by tightness. Instead of regarding the smallness of the site or the congestion as challenges, the architect seeks ways to let the dweller enjoy varying physical conditions by way of the building. She redefines the functions of all members of building from structure to piping to ironmongery so that each one occupies multiple roles in the ‘play.’ The architectural thinking attempts to create a new value for living in congestion and a sense of shared spaces within a neighbourhood.
A Matter of Void: Kazuko Akamatsu
For the urban redevelopment of Shibuya, a series of unconventional ideas were introduced in a skyscraper design, with deference to public use while enhancing physical interaction with its surroundings. The experimental architecture was made possible through the unusual collaboration with urban planning and civil engineering, enabled by the organization of de facto masterplanner Hiroshi Naito. The new skyscraper generated a model of urban redevelopment that resists surrendering to the force of bigness.
Recipe for Mixed Rice: Kumiko Inui
The ingeniousness of Inui’s architecture derives from insightful observation of users’ behaviors and values, and imaginative scripting for enriching life in the new condition which often results in liberating architecture from conventional thinking. The new station complex of Nobeoka is an attempt to enhance people’s space for gathering rather than increase commercial profit. A variety of missions for urban regeneration entrusted to the complex were realized—through the subtle yet deliberate architectural prompting of people’s movement or behaviors.