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Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Tatsumi Apartment House

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has recognized 20 recently-completed buildings for its Awards for International Excellence, and Japan’s Tatsumi Apartment House, is one of them.

A 10-story tower, the Tatsumi Apartment House is located in the Koto-ku area of Tokyo, and is lauded for the architect’s ability to design spacious living quarters on a very small plot: 7.5 meters x 5 meters (24.6 feet x 16.4 feet).

One one side (front) there’s a wide street with lots of traffic, and I believe there’s a subway station below for the designers to be concerned about.

Because the need for columns to hold up the building was a requirement, the architects decided to use the columns and beams as niche spaces which essential help divide the rooms, which would also help eliminate outside noise and vibrations (road and subway).

As part of the now-standard earthquake-proofing design, the Tatsumi Apartment House has the structural beams and columns gradually become smaller the higher up the floors, which helps reduce the drawing force during an earthquake. Drawing force of an earthquake refers to the tensional stress (materials pulled apart), compressional stress (objects compacted together), and shear stress (objects moving beside each other in opposite directions). 

The building is organized structurally around six columns and three beams creating a stepped section, which divides the small floorplate into places for cooking, eating, sitting and sleeping.

While there are indeed 10 floors, the building itself contains two commercial floors (lobby and second floor), six studio apartments (one level each) and a penthouse duplex (two levels). That’s 10.

And, because of the earthquake proofing design, each apartment has different placements of niches, ceiling heights and step locations making each apartment unique.

There are windows (natural light) from four sides, with proper views on two of them… and because of the differences in floor and ceiling height, each apartment feels larger than its 35 square meter spacing  
The Tatsumi Apartment House was designed by Hiroyuki Ito Architects, built by Sanyu-Kensetsu Co., and was completed in April of 2016.

Oh… and look… is that a McDonald’s right across the street? Win-win.

My big question, however is… where do your park your car? Since this is Tokyo and you are right beside a subway line… I’d say you do not own one.

I don’t know about you… but I have a car, and even though I spend over two hours of my day in traffic to and from work… I actually enjoy owning a car.

But I suppose you don’t miss what you don’t have.

I wish I could tell you what the cost per residential unit is, but apparently that is confidential.

It’s a nice looking place.
Photo shows the 9th floor with stairs leading to the duplex's 10th floor.
What do you need… a bedroom, dining area, living room area and washroom/bathroom… that’s pretty much it, right? I suppose there’s a laundry set-up in the washroom area akin to what I had in my three-bedroom LDK place in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

Naw… there’s plenty of space in the Tatsumi Apartment House.

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph
PS: All images Yoshida Makoto (surname first), except for the architectural drawings, which are by Hiroyuki Ito Architects.

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