Komachi Building

This multi-story building was designed for lease to Japanese restaurants. With its wooden tategoshi, or verticle latticework, painted with a traditional red-ochre Japanese paint, the building attracts attention even from a distance. The latticework softly overlays exterior staircases, emergency escape balconies, windows, and other elements of the building, filtering bright sunlight and lending privacy to the interior.

Several of the doors and windows are fitted with a different type of traditional latticed shutter, calledshitomido. At night these are flipped up like eaves and illuminated so they are visible from inside, bringing the distinct atmosphere of the shutters to the interior as well as the exterior. The flipped-up shutters add both a sense of depth and a complex play of shadows to the space.

Location: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Usage: Building for rent
Completion: 2013.12
Contractor: Kuboco
Photos: KOP
Toshihiro Sobajima