this barbershop terrace in suburban japan helps to build local community

this barbershop terrace in suburban japan helps to build local community

ichikawamisato, yamanashi prefecture, is a town that suffers from many typical problems of contemporary regional japan. one of them is a weak sense of community amid the citizens — due to the lack of local shops and the fact that people use cars more than public transport, they don’t have a chance for spontaneous encounters anymore, while parking areas took up most of the exterior space. commissioned by a small barbershop, architect jorge almazán and his students have proposed a planted terrace as an extension to the store’s building where visitors can sit down and chat.

the exterior space is reorganized into a more compact parking configuration



with a limited budget, the architects have designed an intervention that could potentially increase interest to the hair salon and improve the image of the business, but also actively contribute to the community. they have reorganized the exterior space into a more compact parking configuration to offer a public terrace conceived as a reflection of the wooden pattern of the existing white façade.

comprising a collective bench and a garden, the terrace integrates pits of several sizes to accommodate vegetation and people



comprising a collective bench and a garden, the new terrace integrates pits of several sizes to accommodate vegetation and visitors, who can sit in different orientations and in close proximity to plants. the surface can also be used as a table or to lay down — with different species, sizes, and positions and acquiring different colors throughout the year, plants express and encourage this diversity of use and create soft boundaries between zones of the terrace.


the terrace looks as an extension of the existing building


the surface can also be used as a table


view of the collective bench and the garden


at a festive opening workshop, neighbors were invited to plant the vegetation


the architects hope that the visitors will care more about the greenery they planted


plants express and encourage the diversity of use and create soft boundaries between zones of the terrace


studies of multiple options for the pit gardens


project info:


architects: jorge almazán architects + keio university almazán lab

location: ichikawamisato, yamanashi prefecture, japan

type: public space

design team: jorge almazán, gaku inoue, shota takayama, ken tamura, yuri oikawa, ayaka sakai

construction: endo kenchiku

area: 23 m2

client: hair salon kasai

photography: montse zamorano


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: maria erman | designboom

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