Kanda Terrace

Located in a central Tokyo neighbourhood with many low- and mid-rise office buildings, this rental building for restaurants stands on a long, narrow lot, surrounded by streets on three sides.

Key considerations when designing a building of this type are how to create a group identity for the tenants and how to relate the units to the cityscape. Because of its city-centre location, this mid-rise building needs to be commercially efficient, occupying the entire permissible floor–area ratio and filling that space with restaurant tenants on every floor. It was therefore essential to set up an attractive, bright and welcoming environment for visitors and passers-by.

The position of the access to each floor was carefully examined during the design process. Each floor is intended for one tenant, to ensure an effectively functioning building with a brief waiting time at the elevator. The vertical flow of the external staircase and elevator was pushed to the back façade, keeping the second and upper floors easily accessible from the backstreet (crowded with nearby eateries), while the first-floor restaurant has its main access along the front road. This strategy enables the front road façade to be free of additional structural elements and to be fully glazed without visual obstructions.

The building has a recessed façade with three-dimensional stacked terraces, protruding into the space on each floor. The size and shape of these terraces vary by floor, creating a layered form that changes as it moves upwards. In typical multi-storey restaurant buildings, tenants are completely independent of one another, but in this building, they can interact through the terraces of this vertical garden, creating opportunities for customers at each restaurant to visit the others. Furthermore, this dynamic façade is made of glass, allowing people outside to look into the restaurants. In response to its context, the building, like a porous volume, encourages the terraces on each floor to connect to the street and the larger neighbourhood. In doing so, it aims to take on a public character.

The black joinery work and frames, while avoiding an office-like appearance on the outside, allow each restaurant unit to stand out clearly from each other. For the interior spaces, the black window sashes, neutral and basic, allow users to apply the space easily. The use of locally available materials kept the project within its limited budget and reduce the overall cost and building period.

Project Name: Kanda Terrace
Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Completion Date: September 2017
Project Site Area: 154.91 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 986.03 square metres
Building Height: 9 storeys; 34.48 metres
Number of Units: 10 rental spaces
Architecture Firm: Key Operation Inc
Principal Architect: Akira Koyama
Interior Design Firm: Key Operation Inc
Structural Engineer: Delta Structural Consultants
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Comodo Facility Plan Ltd
Lighting Consultant: Key Operation Inc
Facility Planner: Comodo Facility Plan Ltd
Main Contractor: Satohide Corporation
Images: Shigeo Ogawa