'weekend house alley' by chiba manabu architects 'weekend house alley' by chiba manabu architects
feb 04, 2009

'weekend house alley' by chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

chiba manabu architects created ‘weekend house alley’ in kamakura-shi, kanagawa, japan which was completed in march, 2008. kamakura is a multi-faceted, complex city. while the city harbors a deeply rooted sense of history, at the same time, it is known for its avant-garde attitude towards the adoption of modern sports such as surfing and yacht racing. while often thought of as a seaside resort, it also acts as a residential district. located by the sea, it is also surrounded by a richly landscaped terrain. this project brings the assortment of characteristics encompassed within the city of kamakura into a complex of commercial facilities and multi-family housing.

the various characteristics of the city are reflected in the multitude of ways in which this complex can be read—for instance, as housing that can become both residence and weekend house, or as a commercial facility that can double as office space. as opposed to the 20th century conception of the commercial facility, which, as characterized by the theme park, uses a giant, enclosed space to stimulate consumerism, this complex establishes a commercial facility that opens out towards the city. using a collection of buildings at a smaller scale closer to that of residences, it also reconnects a variety of functions such as residences and shops, or office space and retail that, in the 20th century, had been separated from each other.

an abundance of small alleyways that cut through the hills can be found in kamakura. these alleys, through which you can see the ocean, are characteristic to kamakura, and divide the complex into 7 irregularly shaped volumes at a scale similar to that of the surrounding residences. standing in this alley, various pieces of scenery—from the surrounding sea to the hills and the residential district—meet your eyes and seem to converge into the complex. at the same time this arouses a tense and excited feeling, this complex also functions as a scale by which to discover and better understand the charm and character of the surrounding environment. like a freshly excavated ruin, or a newly discovered landscape, this complex becomes a space that is at the same time dynamic and yet somehow very familiar.

the various lives and activities to be carried out in this complex will seep through into this alley, and establish a piece of architecture that is always open—a new landscape in the city.

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

image © masao nishikawa courtesy chiba manabu architects

general plan courtesy chiba manabu architects

general info: project name: weekend house alley period of construction: march, 2008 location: kamakura-shi, kanagawa, japan principal use: shops, collective housing structure: steel frame site area: 2436.32 square meter building area: 967.49 square meter total floor area: 2,575.66 square meter stories: 1 basement and 3 stories design: chiba manabu architects structural engineers: kanebako structual engineers mechanical engineers: kankyo engineering inc. general contractors: obayashi corporation photographer: masao nishikawa

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