Mientras que mi web professional muestra las obras de mi despacho como arquitecto, este blog recopila documentación sobre una serie de actividades que desarrollo en paralelo a él. El ejercicio internacional de la profesión, las entidades entorno a las que se organizan los arquitectos o la reflexión sobre los modos de intervención en la ciudad constituyen los principales puntos de atención, al tiempo que se facilita el acceso a una serie de enlaces relacionados.

pencil buildings

Space is scarce in Tokyo, a megalopolis of 35 million inhabitants with a density twice the density of New York City. Plots are small and expensive and buildings tend to make the best possible use of them including often several underground levels. Fires have destroyed the city a few times along history and, as a consequence, fire regulations are as strict as regulations to prevent earthquake effects. Among other things, they force buildings to maintain a minimum 50 cm distance to the plot limits, leaving voids between them.

These particular conditions give often place to what Tokyo residents call “pencil buildings” –high narrow constructions, one next to the other, that create the false impression of a continuous facade but leave small empty spaces in-between. There is plenty in the city and they are devoted to any possible use, from small single family housing, to office spaces, to retail shopping.

As it is always the case, the abilities and intentions of the architects that have to deal with the particularities of these plots and regulations end producing buildings very different in character. Some of them may be simply banal or pretentious; many become a support for commercial advertisement; others show particular care in benefiting from the very special conditions of the plot or produce sophisticated images to attract attention.

1 comentario:

  1. Thanks for the article. I recall reading an article about pencil buildings in New York City about 15 years ago but those were primarily residential.

    Posted by Timothy Berneche