Housing Complex Niigata, Property, Residences, Honshu Architecture, Japanese Architect

Housing Complex Niigata

New Residential Development in Honshu design by TAKUYAHOSOKAI / Hirose Architects

30 Oct 2013

Housing Complex in Niigata

Design: TAKUYAHOSOKAI with Hirose Architects

Location: Niigata, Honshu, Japan

The principal inspiration for the architectural concept is Noh, the traditional Japanese performance art. In Noh theatre masks convey a broad emotional spectrum: through subtle changes in movement and variances in lighting the mask (here the facade) is brought to life. Indeed, the facade at first reading looks rather plain, but look closer and it reveals an interesting interweaving of slid and void. There are 56 units in this residential complex on the north coast of Honshu.

Contemporary Housing Complex Niigata

Housing Complex Niigata residential property
photograph : Naomichi Sode

Noh, a traditional, Japanese performance art, serves as the main inspiration for the architectural concept. The performance of Noh is heavily reliant upon the use of delicately carved masks. Although at first these masks may appear to present a neutral expression they are formed in such a way as to convey a broad emotional spectrum.

Through subtle changes in the actor’s movement and variances in lighting the masks are brought to life. A similar dialogue exists between built form and seasonal and daily changes to the sun’s altitude, weather patterns and fluctuations in atmospheric conditions. This temporal cycle conspires to continuously transform and direct light and shadows, generating a form of architectural expression.

Housing Complex Niigata
photograph : Naomichi Sode

This is a 56 dwelling housing complex located in Niigata, Japan. It sits along a main road, close to the central station and at the end of a busy T-junction. Due to its scale Niigata is a typical motorized society. It lacks a metro system and therefore private vehicles are a prevalent mode of transport. In response, we utilised piloti as a means to maximise the number of parking spaces. The piloti serve a dual purpose; not only adopted by the architectural plan they also contribute to the structural stability of the building.

Housing Complex Niigata
photo : Naomichi Sode

The configuration of the facade has not been informed by arbitrary decisions but instead determined by the efficiency and practicality of evacuation routes, service piping and to allow for re-use of the formwork, amongst other requirements. The glass, chosen for its thermal properties, reflects the surrounding cityscape and integrates the façade within its environment. The virtual sky, reflected on the glass, creates a sensation of depth and porosity. Combined with the open ground floor this affects the perception of the building’s volume, its mass is reduced as it balances on the slender piloti.

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photos : Naomichi Sode

Typically masks cover the entire face to conceal ones personality, to transform oneself into someone else. However, in Noh, masks only partially cover the face thus revealing the jaw of a living man. This human aspect is permitted to further express the age, personality and sensibility of the actors.

In this fashion, the architectural facade exudes the lives of its inhabitants; it is animated by the chaos living within its ordered structure. The personalities incorporated in the architecture will gradually be rewritten and inherited. This architecture will grow with its occupants; the façade, continuously manipulated by natural phenomenon, is a Noh mask which is activated by the changing seasons.

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photos : Naomichi Sode

Housing Complex Niigata – Building Information

Project title: Housing Complex Niigata
Location: Niigata, Japan
Program: a 56 dwelling housing complex
Design: 01.2012 – 06.2012
Construction: 07.2012 – 06.2013
Site area: 827.39m2
Building area: 436.73m2
Total floor area: 2767.32m2
Local Architect: Hirose Architects
Team: Takuya Hosokai, Satoshi Hasebe, James Hull [TAKUYAHOSOKAI] Takeshi Sugisawa, Yoshio Takiguchi, Shinji Nakano [Hirose Architects]
Structure: Ejiri Structural Engineers
Constructor: HIROSE Co., Ltd.

Photographs: Naomichi Sode

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drawings from TAKUYAHOSOKAI

Housing Complex Niigata images / information from TAKUYAHOSOKAI

Location: Niigata, Japan

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