17 Nov 2010

Tower House

Due to excitement of this CNN short about the smallest house in Japan I would like to remind the world of this project.

Tower House by Takamitsu Azuma from 1966. This house is more than revolutionary piece of residential architecture, it is also a statement about wanting to stay in the city, in a space controlled and designed by yourself.  At the time the population of Shibuya ward experienced similar trends as the Bunkyo ward shown in my post about population growth here. Tower house provides an fantastic spaces. Of note is also the windows that aren't original but Swedish insulated two glass windows, also a floor heating system on the first living floor and the SAAB parked underneath. The plot is left over from the road projects constructed because of the 1964 Olympics.

Tower House - Takamitsu Azuma 1966
The appearence of Tower House allowed people to to symbolically obtain the knowledge needed to live in the city, including what sort of significance that undertaking had, what was gained and lost in the process, and what was convenient and inconvenient about it.
Takeshi Ishido - Personal Notes on Houses as a Prelude to 1985. 
From one of the opening essays in Contemporary Japanese Houses 1985-2005 by Gallery MA. The book is filled with house projects built during the first 20 years of Gallery MA and series of essays putting things into context. It is a book that I sincerely recommend.

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