Contemporary architecture in Tokyo, what to visit?



The city of Tokyo is one of the largest cities on the planet, and has a high concentration of good architecture distributed throughout its many neighborhoods. Ginza, Aoyama, Shibuya or Shinjuku are some examples where we can find representative buildings signed by studios such as Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, Herzog & de Meuron, Richard Rogers, Tadao Ando… but beyond these great works of architecture, Tokyo also hides locations with little gems that are worth a trip to where they are.

Among them, we highlight four: the Moriyama House by SANAA, the House H and the Tokyo Apartments, both by Sou Fujimoto, and the House in Shibuya by Tadao Ando.

Starting with the first one, SANAA’s Moriyama House is a small house made up of different volumes that are inspired by the characteristic fragmented fabric of Tokyo. Between them, small gardens and patios are generated that are connected to each other. The structure of each volume is made of sheet steel, which gives them great slenderness, and they come in different sizes. The largest is the owner’s main home, while the smaller ones have secondary uses.

Fujimoto’s House H is a house that develops in height, with an envelope full of perforations through which the stairs and the different communications between floors can be seen. As in the first example, the structure is made of concrete and some of the openings on the ground floor are open, they do not have an enclosure, since the space in which they open corresponds to the garage.

The Tokyo Apartment complex, also by Fujimoto, is an exercise in growth by repetition, made up of four housing units, each with two independent rooms. What is striking about the project is that the shape of each of the volumes evokes that of a traditional house, with a gabled roof, but these are stacked, so they also reflect the ascent of a mountain, since for To access each of them you have to climb some external stairs.

Lastly, Tadao Ando’s Shibuya house, also known as Kaneko House, is located in the exclusive residential neighborhood of Shoto. Of it stands out, as in the whole of his work, the honesty of the materials, being made up of an exposed concrete structure. It has two levels and a round façade with only two openings: the garage door and a vertical cut that gives access to the stairs that lead to the interior of the house, which is located on the first floor.

These are some notable examples, but the city does not stop adding new projects that are also very interesting, such as the house that Tadao Ando is currently developing in the Ginza neighborhood and which will be completed in 2024.

Tokyo Aparment by Fujimoto

H House by Fujimoto

House in Shibuya by Tadao Ando

Moriyama House by SANAA


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