Kita Aoyama

Kita Aoyama, Conran and Partners / NTT Urban Development Corporation

NTT UD (Developer/Planner) RIA (Local Architect) Shimizu Corporation (Local Contractor) Landscape Plus Ltd (Landscape Designer) Design index (Japanese Agent) Phenomenon Lighting Design Office (lighting designer)

Located in the upmarket Kita Aoyama district of the Japanese capital, the seven-storey residential development of 15 apartments responds to its immediate built context in terms of scale and massing.

The densely planted, fair-faced concrete and flamed-granite ziggurat structure references the spirit of an original Hokusai print, whilst creating a green stepping stone within one of the great megacities of the world. This project encapsulates a holistic approach through its architecture and interior design, linked by the spaces running between the various elements of the development, internally and externally.

The result is an overall spatial experience, creating a continuous journey from the street to the home through a hierarchy of spaces and layers. Recognising the cultural need for privacy in a densely built and populated city, the apartments are unusually large for Tokyo. This is key to creating a journey from the public street, through the semi-public reception and circulating spaces to the private front doors of the apartments.

The materiality of this journey is expressed by moving from stone and concrete to timber-lined lift-cars and corridor spaces, where softly-pooled lighting provides subtle orientation leading to the apartment front doors.