Step Tower by
EASTERN Design Office

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This apartment block in Osaka Prefecture by Japanese studio EASTERN Design Office features recessed corner balconies that become incrementally wider towards the roof.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

Named Step Tower, the ten-storey building is located within a shopping district in Ibaraki. Buildings here are typically four to five storeys, so EASTERN Design Office added larger openings at the parts of the building with views across the surrounding rooftops.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

"The open space of each floor gets wider as the floor level becomes higher, and you can get a wider sky view," said architects Anna Nakamura and Taiyo Jinno.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

The exterior walls are rendered white and feature smooth edges that give a gentle curve to the corners of the balconies, which the architects compare to the hull of a ship.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

"It makes you imagine the wave splashes that occur when the bow heads-on through the sea," they said.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

A shop occupies the ground floor of the building, while tiled walls on the side reveal the entrance to apartments on the nine floors above.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

The first three floors each contain four one-room apartments, suitable for single occupants, and the six upper floors contain two- and three-bedroom flats designed to accommodate families.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

Other housing projects by EASTERN Design Office include a concrete house with slits for windows and a residence punctured by circular holes.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

See more architecture by EASTERN Design Office »
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Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

Photography is by Koichi Torimura.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

Read on for a description from EASTERN Design Office:


Step Tower

A stark white ship that sails in the middle of the bustling sea of colours.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office

The ship floating on the ocean suddenly appears in a shopping centre. It evokes a feeling not of a resort area, but of an exotic corner of a town in some southern country. A feeling of a ship that comes across this area by chance.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Site plan

It makes you imagine the wave splashes that occur when the bow heads-on through the sea. It is a pencil building of 9.7 metre width and 21.6 metre depth. Big holds are designed for the balconies at the southwest corner. These holes become bigger as the floors go upwards from the bottom. You can have the same image when you look up the bow from under it.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

It is simple, neat and clean. You look up the smooth and pure white exterior wall. This reminds you of a cool lifestyle in some southern country, or of being on a trip, and spending days at a tropical land in a quest of change of air.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
First floor plan - click for larger image

It is an apartment house for rent built at Ibaraki-city in Osaka, a town with a population of 270,000. This town is not only a residential one, but it is now calling for the development of industrial areas for research and development facilities of universities and industrial firms. Therefore, the population is also increasing as an industrial town. This architecture is built at the shopping district, the centre of this town, which is located in front of the JR station.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Ninth floor plan - click for larger image

It is a building of 10 storeys of RC structure consisting of a tenant space at the first floor, one room apartment houses for singles at 2-4 floors, and 2LDK and 3LDk for families at 5-10 floors.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Cross section one - click for larger image

The surrounding buildings are 4-5 storeys height. So it is not proper to have a big slit (opening section) for this building. The open space of each floor gets wider as the floor level becomes higher, and you can get a wider sky view. This idea is reflected in the design of this building.

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Cross section two - click for larger image

Location: Osaka, Japan
Site Area: 384.38 sqm
Total Floor Area: 1,548.85 sqm
Structural Engineering: IHARA STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
Contractor: Matsumotogumi Co., Ltd

Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office
Long section - click for larger image
  • Tie

    So, you’re view through those nice big windows is a big, white railing? I like the project because of its homage (even if unintentional) to the Guggenheim, but I hate it because it really doesn’t make sense for the people living there.

  • Yahia

    Yes, I like the project also because the view through those nice big windows is a big, white railing. It gives a certain sense of privacy and I’d really love living there too :)