year: 2007-2009
use: Kuri
location: Nerima-ku, Tokyo
floor: 1basement floor + 2floor
structure: RC
site area: 820.00m2
building area:479.94m2
total floor area: 559.51m2
collaborative designer: Akiko Sekino
structural design: Seiichiro Yamada
construction: Sato Hide, T. Kawamukai
photo: Hiroyuki Hirai
staff in charge: T.Ueda, K.Fujimura
October Ueda and Nakagawa Architects

Cartesian grid, reminiscence and/or oblivion

Cancelling the rules that guaranty a rectangular Cartesian coordinate system as it is, we made each unit space to be free and to obtain needed size in mutual push and pull. The shape of the whole is the result of cutting out by the site shape.

In the grounds of a Japanese temple where a rectangular coordinate system, if not so strong as Cartesian, dominate, I thought that something else could be accepted and wanted to see something else accepted in reality. This is because of the generosity of, and my respect for, such traditional Japanese religions.

Other than X-axis and Y-axis, some duality are in this project's concern such as parent family and son family, action space and transfer space, inside and outside (of the building and of the site) and two architects. I consider the duality not in the phase of "duel" but in the phase of "between," "fundamental sameness," "incommensurable coexistence."

I think that the project will be finally completed when you can see 2501 through the satellite view of Google map. This is because the project is of conceptual.

Lowness, closeness and openness

Japanese word "kuri" means "house of Buddhist monk." The project 2501 is a duplex kuri which consists of two areas for two families; the two areas are divided by an internal drive way and are connected underground.

The kuri must be lower than the main shrine because of its importance. And I hoped that the kuri should have been as low as old walls surrounding the site for residential neighborhood.

For the lowness, instead of being multistory, 2501 spread on the site to the edge. The site gradually sinks down toward south; by following the gradient, 2501 is looking like walls from outside. This is emphasized by the fact that 2501 has no openings at the outer wall. 2501 has an internal drive way and openings toward that instead. Tomomasa UEDA

Line: parting line and/or outline of elements

In 2501, rooms and gardens are treated in the same manner. They are called "volumes." The volumes are mutually dependent units in terms of size and shape. The relational position of each unit is decided by traditional planning thinking; and its size and shape is determined by push and pull action among units. Then the outlines of units are made bold enough to walk on as passage. Usually partitions of rooms are walls so that you feel "like walking in the wall."

The concrete wall structure is employed; the walls, however, are neither of structural expression nor shadow/darkness expression. Structural real walls remain but are always partial and fragmental.