HOUSES FOR A SMALL PLANET: GOING UP
Universidade de Lisboa -
Faculdade de Arquitectura
Connecting formal and informal Tokyo
through high-rise alternative dwelling typologies
Intending to provide innovative answers to cope with demographic saturation in megacities and defying the trend for homogenisation of place-making in megacities in an increasingly globalised world, this work finds its grounds in the resilient traits of Japanese identity, reinterpreting them in contemporaneity while building bridges between generations - focusing on the challenges faced by Tokyo in the 21st century.
Located on the border of Nishi-Shinjuku (West Shinjuku), the proposal denominated by “Ju-Ni Quarter" stands right by the fringe of the 1960s post-war urban redevelopment plan, giving it the ability to revitalise and connect the formal and monofunctional high-rise office district with the low-rise sprawled residential fabric extending almost infinitely through the suburbs.
Determining to what extent can an overpopulated, work-driven and ageing society benefit from these multifunctional places that drive intergenerational relationships, a new path for one of the most segmented areas of the city is esta-blished, reigniting it and bringing housing back to the centre through high-rise alternative dwelling typologies, combi-ned with spaces of encounter, work, culture and leisure.
Defying the conception of the conventional skyscraper, the key element of this project sees its vertical infrastructures pushed away from the centre of the building, granting the protagonism of its shallow core, which translates as a per-meable and activating atrium for the whole urban proposal. Micro-units are combined with ample shared living spaces and angled walkways, assuring a sense of human scale and connection with the surroundings along its 200 metres. Topics such as modularity and flexible dwelling spaces address the heritage and the vernacular elements of Japanese architecture, as well as the legacy left by the metabolist movement in mid-20th century.
The answers found are acknowledged as architectural proposals for a system of demographic, social, economic and cultural challenges, working as clues to rethink the mode of dwelling in such an idiosyncratic metropolis.