A unique, flag shaped site suddenly appears among the houses: a 20 meters long path leads to NOIE, a cooperative housing project with 11 units located in west Tokyo. The layout appears simple in plan, but the houses are connected to each other in a way that resembles the “machiya” style.
Steel sashes open the building to its surroundings, allowing the viewer to perceive an unusual composition of the slabs. The unique design of each house directly appears in the façade and shapes the townscape. The once casual aggregation of the peculiarity and characteristics of residents and their lifestyle is captured and becomes the rich and colorful townscape of NOIE.
As every cooperative housing, its design process began with an empty skeleton plan, which was shown to potential residents. The promise was to develop a final design with their collaboration with them. The challenge was to develop the plan dynamically without simply adjusting the infill design into the existing frame.
In the process that lead to tailoring each house to the residents’ lifestyle we explored the flexibility and possibilities of the frame. Finally, each unit became an independent, house- like dwelling, featuring different floor levels to provide the chance of numerous combinations of interior designs and privacy, 12 m2 of “undetermined usage” for future modifications and a stepped, green rooftop for the clients to transform.