naoya kawabe architect & associates: kitaurawa valley
naoya kawabe architect & associates: kitaurawa valley naoya kawabe architect & associates: kitaurawa valley
feb 28, 2012

naoya kawabe architect & associates: kitaurawa valley

‘kitaurawa valley’ by naoya kawabe architect & associates in saitama, japan all images courtesy naoya kawabe architect & associates




japanese practice naoya kawabe architect & associates has shared with us images of ‘kitaurawa valley’, a three-storey apartment building in saitama, japan. comprised of 14 individual units, the design features a branching network of exterior staircases that traverse between volumes, resulting in a circulation route that promotes pockets of communal areas within the overall layout.

(left) exterior view (right) entrance




situated on an asymmetrically-shaped plot, the design is read as a collection of multi-storey buildings from the street. slim spatial chasms slide between volumes with minimalistic stairs running in multiple orientations. as a result, the apartment building benefits from a level of separation between inhabitants, creating a micro-community within an alley-like organization. a textured concrete finish lends the exterior an urban aesthetic.

communal area and stairs

exterior circulation space

access to upper units




exhibiting highly independent plans, each apartment unit is laid out to ideally benefit the interior domestic condition. passages and windows are carefully placed to control sight lines of the immediate site. by dissecting the overall building volume into a cluster of multiple structures, the number of exposed exterior walls is maximized to gain an abundant level of sunlight as well as natural cross ventilation.

interior view of unit 102

interior of unit 204

bunk level of unit 103

view from unit 305

street view

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1

floor plan / level +2

section a-a

section b-b

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