This apartment block in Osaka Prefecture by Japanese studio EASTERN Design Office features recessed corner balconies that become incrementally wider towards the roof.
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.
"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.
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.
"It makes you imagine the wave splashes that occur when the bow heads-on through the sea," they said.
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.
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.
Photography is by Koichi Torimura.
Read on for a description from EASTERN Design Office:
A stark white ship that sails in the middle of the bustling sea of colours.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Location: Osaka, Japan
Site Area: 384.38 sqm
Total Floor Area: 1,548.85 sqm
Structural Engineering: IHARA STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
Contractor: Matsumotogumi Co., Ltd