HORIZONTAL UNIT IN AOMORI

Terms such as ambiguity, contradiction, duality all characterise this project: the static block of dwellings transforms the communal spaces into movement. The city is closed towards the outside against the weather and transforms by opening its inner spaces: the rigid layout turns into flexible internal parts; the weight of the volume transforms into the airiness of its internal parts.

Thus, the inside space as a communal place becomes the driving force behind the project, a space in continual movement, in continual transformation. It takes over the role of a large house and makes all the typical features of the Japanese private space its own.  A series of sliding volumes breaks the static layout, in which the houses are located. The volumes contain communal functions, such as: exhibition spaces, shops, places for leisure and greenhouses, containers of greenery which insinuate powerfully into the space, whereas the fixed volumes contain the facilities required for a centre for the elderly, a children’s play area and various services. The movement of each volume leaves an undefined, empty space, except for its momentary essence. The block of reinforced concrete houses is a return to the old, seventeenth century, Japanese layout. It transforms into a compact group, which acquires depth and inside which the autonomous, self-sufficient dwellings are placed, each with its own lift or elevator. 

The reinforced concrete block is cut with slits, roads set in shape, but broken by the presence of the volumes when they are occupied. The communal space is thus transformed into a convivial place, a meeting place protected from the frenetic daily city life.

Year: 2002 - 2009 (Competition "Northern Style Housing Complex in Aomori" 2002)

Architect: Anna Rita Emili

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