Building of Music | Aisaka Architects’ Atelier | Architect of The Year Awards 2023

Aisaka Architects’ Atelier: Winner of Architect of The Year Awards 2023. This commercial complex for a music company with a long history includes music classrooms, instrument sales and storage spaces, and the company’s main offices. Located in the Kanda-Ochanomizu area of Tokyo, which is known for its many music stores, the lot is small and irregularly shaped. The client requested a building that efficiently combined a variety of functions, including rooms for lessons in piano, violin, and other instruments; a hall for recitals; a professional recording equipment shop; storage for wholesale instrument sales; and offices to manage these various aspects of the businesses.

The requirements related to soundproofing, views, daylighting, shade, and usage time varied for each floor, and the likelihood that these requirements would change in the future was high. We therefore decided to use a double skin that maintains a unified exterior appearance regardless of how rooms are being used or whether windows are open. We selected a mesh membrane that sways at high altitudes, can easily be rounded in all directions to allow for optimal sky-view ratios, and is porous to light and air.

Made of polyester fibers coated with PVC resin, the fireproof exterior mesh membrane blocks visibility from the outside while allowing those inside to see out. A solar reflectance rate of 33 percent lowers the air conditioning load by 28 percent. The membrane can be bent three-dimensionally, and because it is light and perforated, there is little structural stress from either the weight of the material itself or wind pressure. Because there is no danger related to the material falling to the ground, it is easy to replace and maintain and can be reused. The covid-19 pandemic has increased the appeal of facades such as this that enhance natural ventilation while maintaining privacy.

The form of the building takes into account the irregular lot shape, codes related to height and setback, and necessary elements such as emergency stairs, balconies, plumbing, and wiring as well as the need to express the company’s identity. We incorporated shapes inspired by various musical instruments, adjusted to maximize capacity. The mesh-covered façade evokes a speaker sending music into the neighborhood, transforming the building into a giant sign advertising the company inside.

Project Details
Aisaka Architects’ Atelier

Kensuke Aisaka

Project Name
Building of Music

Office Building Built

Project Location
Tokyo , Japan

Aisaka Architects’ Atelier


Photography ©Credit
©Shigeo Ogawa

AISAKA ARCHITECTS’ ATELIER is one of architectural design office in Tokyo led by Kensuke Aisaka who used to work at TADAO ANDO’s office.  Using elegant and simple lines, he creates architecture and products with a high degree of freedom to be close to our clients, based on the essence, not preconceived or fashionable. It has a reputation for including a variety of spatial experiences and excursions in architecture.