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Bay Window Tower House

Living, Working and Welcoming Change

Takaaki Fuji + Yuko Fuji Architecture

Bay Window Tower House
By Lorena Alessio -

The city is Tokyo. The district, the vibrant young and fashionable Shibuya. This is the place of the famous pedestrian crossing with diagonal crossing lines, but also of the statue of the dog Hachiko in the small, more intimate square at the west exit of the station, a regular meeting point for friends.

In recent years, the Shibuya area has undergone far-reaching urban transformation. New high-rises for offices, retail, restaurants and hotels have sprung up around the station, reaffirming Shibuya’s role as a major district of Tokyo quick to pick up on and adapt to new trends.

However, like almost everywhere in Tokyo, despite the broad urban transformation of the last 30 years, you can still come across pockets of the tightly packed, infinitely small plots that once formed the traditional urban fabric of Japan’s cities. In fact, the tumultuous changes have often led to a chaotic layout of the city’s residential quarters.

The building stands between two residential plots. It is a prime example of the ingenious skills of Japanese architects to develop unusual futuristic residential typologies on the vertical. Although special, it is also a practically obligate skill required of Japanese designers when they branch out experimentally - as was the case for Yuko Fuji and Takaaki Fuji when they designed their own studio home.

Until the 1990s, building one’s own “little home” was part of the Japanese dream. This gave way, however, to a preference for “apartment living” in or near central areas, like, for example, the central section of the Yamanote train line.

The site presents the design difficulties typical of small irregular shaped residential sites. The octagonal building is 5,827x5,827 mm. Precision is essential in a situation like this. In Japan, it should be remembered, you draw in millimeters, a habit I have since adopted in my own architecture practice. It trains...

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