KIBA Tokyo Residence | SAKAE Architects & Engineers | World Design Awards 2021

SAKAE Architects & Engineers: Runner-Up of World Design Awards 2021. This is a project for rebuilding a residential building in a small site of Tokyo Japan. For adaptation of the various lifestyles and improving the added value of the building, we designed multiple spaces by using exceptional cases of maisonnette style housing to the building standard law. Also, we attempted to put the building in harmony with the historic site of Edo Tokyo *Kiba which was known for lumber dealings. We try to make new values and new lifestyles by the inside, and to show historical and cultural heritage by the outside.

*Kiba: The name of a place. “Ki” means wood, and “ba” means town.

The capability of a small residential building in a city.

We have been witnessing the problems of the deterioration of old buildings and the excess number of open spaces in a small site of Tokyo lately. The majority of those properties in fact have been wiped out by the urban renewal. In this project, we endeavored to explore the capability of a small residence in a small site in the center of Tokyo.

In order to adapt the various lifestyles of the city as well as maximize the potential of the small building, we designed the building with multiple spaces based on the lifestyle despite the strict restrictions given by the size of the site. Therefore, we accomplished to have three different types of housings, namely a residence for one person (Type A), a couple (Type B) and a family with children (Type C) in a single building. Even though the size of the building is small, the different types of housings are being together, therefore constructed the fine community of a residence in a city.

Re-creating the landscape of Edo Tokyo Kiba.

The recent trend of large-scale metropolitan development has been prevailing in the world’s popular cities as well as developing countries. Due to this trend, we have been witnessing uncountable instances in which small buildings are either eliminated as whole or absorbed into enormous cities. In fact, this leads to reduction of historical and cultural properties and values of the area. Since such large-scale developments are necessary for cities and nations to flourish, we are not here to criticize it in any way.

As for the project site, due to the huge quantity of the land as well as the access to the water in the center of Edo Tokyo, there used to be lots of lumber retailers that had its lumbers piled up in front of the store as well as leaned against its entrance in Kiba. However, since most of the business moved its location to Shin-Kiba (New-Kiba) in 1981, we no longer see the original landscape.

Taking these issues into consideration, the facade of the building is designed by an image of the original landscape of Edo Tokyo Kiba. The facade consists of two elements, the latticework and the wooden louver. A design of the grid windows and sashes comes from the Kouraiya latticework, which is one of the most iconic latticework of the Edo period. The wooden louver reminds us of the original landscape of Kiba which was the lumber leaned against the entrance of a lumber retail shop vertically.

KIBA Tokyo Residence

In this project, we took account of these previously mentioned factors in terms of the design for the inside and the outside of the building. Namely, not only did we attempt to endeavor the capability of a small residence in a city, we also put effort into re-creating the landscape of Edo Tokyo Kiba.

Project Details
SAKAE Architects & Engineers

Project Name
KIBA Tokyo Residence

Eisuke Yamazaki

World Design Awards Category
Residential Built (Multi-Unit)

Project Location
Tokyo Japan

SAKAE Architects & Engineers :Eisuke Yamazaki / Toshio Yoshikawa ≫Design Cooperation :Hiroshi Sakaguchi ≫Structural Design :Hiroshi Takeda ≫Facility Design :Koichi Nagashima ≫General Contractor :Kaneko Komuten


Photography ©Credit
©Koji Fujii / Yuichi Higurashi

SAKAE Architects & Engineers is a Japanese architectural firm based in Tokyo Japan, established in 1963. The firm has designed numerous works which are office buildings, public buildings, educational, residential, medical, commercial, industrial, and more. The firm provides various architectural services, as well as planning and design. CEO Eisuke Yamazaki has received a diploma of the Master of Architecture at Pratt Institute in New York, USA, after graduate school of architecture in Japan, also has a first-class architect license in Japan. He has received some international architecture awards.