architecture that defies logic

 

this unusual concrete structure emerges from suburban tokyo as an antithesis to rational architecture. designed by AAOAA and Adesign for a restaurant owner, the four story property is located in the azabu-juban district of the japanese capital. 

 

the angular building occupies a sloping corner site and is characterized by irregular cuts, parts that project outwards, and openings that don’t follow a formal rhythm. evoking a rock hewn from the ground, the grey concrete structure has been left exposed both inside and out. only traces of the timber formwork decorate the walls. 

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
images by takeshi yamagishi

 

 

to design this irregular building devoid of conventional hierarchies, the architects took cues from the complex topography of azabu-juban and the desire to eschew homogeneity. a design concept which they describe as ‘eeriness’.

 

‘I have recently been interested in ‘eeriness’, explains koji aoki of AAOAA. ‘underlying this interest is an awareness of the following issues. being forced to live with the invisible terror of COVID-19, it seems that the more various measures are taken, the more homogeneous and less heterogeneous society becomes. I fear that a homogeneous society will be dominated by stereotyped values that blindly believe in security and serenity and will rob us of our diverse identities.’

 

‘our daily lives are more complex and full of differences and fortuities. more to the point, there are spooky and mysterious signs and elements of potential anxiety and fear. I believe now is the time to confront this kind of eeriness that has been latent in daily life but secretly hidden away. through their work, architects living today should offer tolerant spaces that question institutionalized values and restore a sense of life.’

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
the building has a total floor area of 166.23 sqm

 

 

instead of dividing the project into interior and exterior, the team aimed to create a cohesive whole while still considering the implied requirements of the restaurant. ‘we wanted to examine the autonomy of the architecture, which would continue to exist in this location regardless of the fluid quality of the interior,’ say the architects.

 

there are many details to be explored in the final building, some of which defy simple understanding. but that’s all part of the charm of this surprising and rather intriguing building. 

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
traces of the timber formwork can be seen on the concrete

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
interior view with windows that don’t follow a formal rhythm

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
the property was designed for a restaurant owner

AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
the building looks like a rock hewn from the ground

 

 

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AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 
AAOAA disrupts architectural conventions with irregular concrete building in tokyo
 

project info:

 

name: restaurants in azabu-juban

location: azabu-juban, tokyo, japan

architecture: AAOAA and Adesign

architects in charge: koji aoki, yuta takahashi, kaoru tsutsui

structural design: hiraiwa structural plan
construction: beans, taisei rotec
site area: 82.98 sqm
building area: 62.66 sqm
total floor area: 166.23 sqm
completion: january 2022
photography: takeshi yamagishi