Kita Aoyama Apartments by Conran and Partners

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Appreciation towards Conran and Partners for providing the following description:

进行国际建筑研究和设计实践的Conran and Partners事务所在东京完成了一个特殊的住宅项目。它位于东京北山区的高档住宅区,由跨越七层的15套公寓组成。

International architecture and design practice, Conran and Partners, completes a sensitive residential scheme in Tokyo. This striking project, comprising 15 apartments across seven storeys, is located in the upmarket Kita Aoyama district of the Japanese capital.

▼项目概览,general view © Forward Stroke Inc

其设计灵感源于伟大的日本艺术家葛饰北斋创作的浮世绘版画《富岳三十六景》中的《青山円座松》, 画中描绘了日本武士占领一片绿地的场景。该项目使用清水混凝土和石材模仿山的形状,创造出层叠的塔楼,错落的露台上种有松树等茂密的本土植物。建筑的结构形式从下至上发生了微妙的变化,底部是清水混凝土网格框架,其间嵌入玻璃或火烧面花岗岩板,上部是黑钢表面的梁柱结构。各个楼层的结构均采用诚实的表达,为建筑物提供了强大的视觉保证,既抗震,又丰富了该项目特有的日式景观。

▼浮世绘与模型,Ukiyoe and model © Conran and Partners

The design takes its inspiration from a woodblock print – ‘Cushion pine at Aoyama’ – by the great Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai, one of ‘Thirty-Six views of Mount Fuji’, created by Hokusai when the area was a green landscape, traditionally occupied by the Samurai. The fair-faced concrete and stone building takes the form of a ziggurat that emulates the form of the hillside where the cushion pine, represented by dense indigenous planting, grows. The form of the structure also subtly changes at these higher levels from a fair-faced concrete grid – expressed massively with glazed- or flamed-finished granite panels between – to a black steel-clad post- and-beam structure above. The structure on all levels is expressed honestly, offering a robust, visual assurance that the building is earthquake-proof whilst serving to complement the abundant Japanese- style landscaping which characterises the design.

▼底部是清水混凝土网格框架,上部是黑钢表面的梁柱结构,the lower is a fair-faced concrete grid, the upper is a black steel-clad post- and-beam structure © Forward Stroke Inc

▼错落的露台上种有茂密的植物,dense plants on the scattered terraces © Forward Stroke Inc


Located at the junction of narrow, domestic-scale streets, the seven-storey building’s stepped form is respectful of its neighbours, allowing sunlight to penetrate to street level. The structure’s recessive massing means that pedestrians are aware only of the first three storeys – the cascading greenery of trees and shrubs hints at the upper levels beyond the parapet. The uppermost floors, visible only from the upper floors of adjacent buildings, step back dramatically, creating generous terraces where the extensive planting ensures that terraces below are protected from views from those above, ensuring privacy for all residents.

▼行人在街道一侧只能看到前三层,pedestrians are aware only of the first three storeys © Forward Stroke Inc

▼大面积种植确保下方露台免受上方视线的干扰,extensive planting ensures that terraces below are protected from views from those above © Forward Stroke Inc


At ground level, walled gardens provide private spaces of calm for residents occupying the lower levels of the building. Mature trees have been planted here, offering shade, colour and seasonality to the street. Winter gardens provide a transitional space between internal and exterior areas, with the choice of key materials such as granite paving providing a visual linking motif.

▼入口处设置花园,garden at the entrance © Forward Stroke Inc

▼花岗岩铺地与建筑形成视觉连接,granite paving forms a visual connection with the building © Forward Stroke Inc

Conran and Partners的负责人兼该项目的设计总监Tim Bowder-Ridger表示:“该项目采用建筑和室内一体化设计,室内外空间中不同的元素将二者联系起来。最终形成整体化的空间体验,在不同空间和楼层之间创造出连续的路线。”这些公寓是为NTT Urban Development房地产公司设计的,对东京这个城市来说异常庞大。设计考虑到人口密集城市对隐私的文化需求,这对建立从公共街道到半公共接待区和交通空间、再到私人入户门的路线来说十分重要。从外部的石材和混凝土界面过渡到电梯厢和走廊的木条纹饰面,交通空间中柔和的照明指引了通往公寓入户门的方向,体现了路线的重要性。

Tim Bowder-Ridger, Principal of Conran and Partners and design director of this project, comments: “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.” The apartments – for NTT Urban Development – are unusually large for Tokyo. The design approach recognizes the cultural need for privacy in a densely built and populated city. This is clearly important in 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.

▼半公共接待区,semi-public reception © Forward Stroke Inc

▼交通空间,circulating space © Forward Stroke Inc

▼木条纹饰面,timber-lined finish © Forward Stroke Inc

▼私人入户门,private front door © Forward Stroke Inc


Once in the apartments, the hierarchy of public to private continues, with circulation routes and distinct zoning ensuring the formal separation of guest reception spaces from private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Entrance halls (‘genkan’) generous enough to enable hosts to comfortably greet their guests and remove shoes before they are led to the main living spaces reflect the welcome ritual of Japanese homes. Each step of this process is identified by passing through timber portals and transitioning from one material to another. Both the living spaces and bedrooms offer timber-framed views of the external, planted terraces, the generosity of which is a rare amenity in this most dense of cities.

▼从起居空间望向种植露台,view from living space to planted terrace © Forward Stroke Inc

▼室内绿化,indoor greening © Forward Stroke Inc

这座建筑在尺度和体量上呼应了既建环境,同时为所在地增添了独特的建筑物。设计诞生于Conran and Partners与景观设计师Tatsuya Hiraga的持续合作。Hiraga以在城市中创造出一系列绿色脚踏石的Futako Tamagawa项目广受赞誉,这是递进式设计的生动案例,它通过利用景观和本土植物回归自然,使城市变得更加宜居。

The building responds to its immediate built context in terms of scale and massing, while offering a unique addition to the location. It is a design born out of a continuing and creative collaboration with landscape architect Tatsuya Hiraga. The practice worked with Hiraga on the acclaimed Futako Tamagawa project, creating a sequence of green stepping-stones across the city – a vivid example of an incremental approach to make cities more habitable by bringing nature back through the use of landscape and indigenous planting.

▼立面细部,details of the facade © Forward Stroke Inc

▼夜景鸟瞰,aerial view in the night © Forward Stroke Inc

▼一层平面图,1F plan © Conran and Partners

▼五层平面图,5F plan © Conran and Partners

▼立面图,elevations © Conran and Partners

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