1-1 architects raise apartment building on branch-like columns in japan

1-1 architects raise apartment building on branch-like columns in japan

japanese architecture firm 1-1 architects developed a new apartment complex in a residential neighborhood in kariya city, aichi prefecture in japan. the site for apartment mk sits between several apartment buildings that house employees for major automobile manufacturers and other affiliated companies. however, the neighborhood also boasts ample green areas and fields that are open for development, and were key in the design concept for apartment mk.




1-1 architects aimed to create an apartment building that would be suitable and functional for its car-owner residents. due to the area’s high household income and marriage rate, neighboring homes each feature two parking spaces. lots surrounding the site also include towering parking garages that end up casting long shadows over the open greenery.




so, 1-1 architects proposed a new building that would maintain the continuity of the surrounding nature and minimally intervene in the environment. the housing functions were broken up into different rooms and rejoined them while floating in the air. this allowed an open ground surface, which provides outdoor circulation and a permeable building for the neighborhood.




each ‘floating’ room includes a structure so that every dwelling unit supports each other around the staircase volume. as a result, the number of columns touching the ground was reduced as much as possible, and they were made as this as surrounding plant stems. the architects chose the most suitable column diameter according to the biological rationale of plant stems, imitating a trunk that becomes thicker as the height of the plant becomes taller.




the complex comprises four units with the same floor plan, where each is connected and rotated or reversed for a better functionality within the building. in addition, the architects made a layout plan based on sun conditions and the surrounding environment. by building all the roofs and outer walls with the same material finish, the volumes are meant to look like a forest with overlapping leaves of different shades.




the uneven geometries mirror the diverse lives of the residents. placing the building and nature on the different planes, the apartments dissolve the surrounding ecosystems. the covered parking spaces and thick noise-reducing walls are benefits of the apartment mk complex, a plus within the housing-filled neighborhood.  



project info:


project name: apartment mk

architecture: 1-1 architects (yuki kamiya+shoichi ishikawa)

location: kariya city, aichi prefecture in japan

project type: apartment

structure type: wooden (partly steel)

site area: 453.97 m2

building area: 103.33 m2

total floor area: 174.43 m2

design period: october 2016 – september 2018

construction period: october 2018 – june 2019

structure: fujio and associates

construction: toyonaka construction co., ltd.



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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