On the Corner

Project Info

On the Corner | EASTERN design office

Words by mooponto Staff

May 9, 2013

On the Corner building is located in a manufacturing area in Higashiomi City in Shiga Prefecture. There are many big factories in this town. A lot of immigrants from South America live here among the local people.

This is a residential area as well as an industrial area. It is also a popular drinking area where many bars and restaurants for such common people are scattered. There is a highway interchange nearby the town. The shape of the lot is a sharp triangle which is unusual for building a house.

The site is a wedge-shaped flatiron lot that remained at a corner where two streets meet at an acute angle. It was left behind neither residential nor for industrial development. No one wanted to buy it, and the public sector would not invest to change it into a park: a lot remained bereft of life for a long time.

The elevation of this building takes the shape of the triangle plot. It is a triangular residential complex of 13 meters in height with the baseline 23 m x height 12 m x oblique line 26 m. It is a typical tenanted apartment house with seven rooms, 1-3rd two units on each floor and one on the 4th floor.

Each room is composed of a living room of 13 m², two bedrooms with 13 m² and 9 m², a prefabricated bathroom, a kitchen system, and a toilet. They are planned to be easy to rent for town people.

The concrete which serves as a structure is designed carefully. Other than that specific materials are not used here. The exterior wall is made out of square-cut stone, concrete, and glass formed like scattered cards on it. They are bound by a “cross” so that the spread out material would not disjoin.

It looks like a present, a toy box, or a castle where the boys and girls of the story of Michael Ende could be entering. It is a triangular building configured by the square elements. The cross confines the power of the mixed materials into one.

A shuffle of stones, concretes, and glass. The keen edge of each material is too sharp. A shuffle of mass and void. The design “on the corner” consists of blue and the cross.

A composition of line and plane surface is created by the clearly distinguished edges of the material.

The confusing imagination is created to make the so far disregarded place interesting, which lies at the corner of messy scenery in an inner-city.

It belongs to no one.
It is nothing.
It does not belong to anything.
It does not belong to any country.

The edge of the triangular pyramid is like a wrecked boat, a fictional tip of a boat as if it were escaping from the town. Where on earth is here?

A corner that makes you feel you are nowhere at the end of the world, where no one can go further anymore. It is far from the center of town, a place which makes you wonder where you are. It is a place to make the town be nowhere but only here, and it makes you feel like a distinguished person.

We want to highlight the discarded lot from the urban framework by emphasizing its shape, building architecture similar to illusion. An illusion required by the town people. The reality is similar to an illusion that one town has something to do with someone.

It seems as if this illusion deceives people to obscure their eyesight and feel invited to another world. It is pretentious, yet it is surrealistic too.

Tags: #Japanese housing#Koichi Torimura#Minimalism

Related projects

More from Residential architecture

More from Apartment buildings

Partners & Friends