Photography by Vincent Hecht. Image courtesy of Akihisa Hirata.
Go to Tokyo and you’ll see an endless amount of modern housing structures built within a very limited amount of space. The buildings are often clean, but with a lot of character and nature usually plays an immense role. Akihisa Hirata’s latest housing project in Toshima-Ku is a perfect example of this — a multi-storey complex replicating the structure of a tree.
“One tree is organically integrated with a combination of parts having different characteristics, such as a trunk, a branch, a leaf,” Hirata states. “The goals was to create organic architecture that could be formed by hierarchical combinations of a tree, such as plants, pleats and concrete boxes.”
With having to build within such a narrow plot space, the team created a tower block of concrete boxes stacked three-dimensionally. You’ll find bedrooms and bathrooms in the inner boxes, while the ones on the outside was turned into terraces or gardens, and creates an intriguing exterior along the streetscape. Trees, bushes and other greenery was planted in between the blocks, resulting in what Hirata calls 3D gardens. All to all the occupants will be living in a contemporary building surrounded by organic shapes and actual nature. The result is a as beautiful and as it is functional.