Penshirubiru. Collective housing in Japan taken to its limit

Penshirubiru. Collective housing in Japan taken to its limit

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Japan is undergoing a period of change. A succession of buildings with common characteristics are rising within the fabric of Japanese metropolises like trees in a dense forest of buildings.

These buildings are distinguished by their great slenderness and their reduced floor space. They call them “Penshirubiru”, which can be translated as pencil buildings.

These are multi-purpose buildings, often dedicated to collective housing, although exceptionally there is also the case of a house-building for a single owner. They have an extremely small footprint, so much so that only the area dedicated to vertical communications can occupy half of the floor. They rise in height above these minimal plots forming slender pieces, like a pencil standing upright, hence their name. When they appear grouped on the same street, it is inevitable to recall the image of a half used pencil box, each worn down to a different length.

This new housing is undoubtedly a response to the new social model that has generated a majority of single-person households and a citizen economy also based on this marked individualisation and on the current daily routines that tend to reconcentrate citizens around very dense areas with a great mix of uses.

268 Pages
Spanish, English
23 x 29,5 cm
Soft cover
ISBN: 978-84-17753-30-6
Authors: Luis Manovel Mariño, Alberto Nicolau Corbacho y Jose María de Lapuerta Montoya

The list of brilliant architectural resources contained in this catalogue is too long to go through it in full. It is better to leave it up to the reader to discover each one of the tricks that the architects gathered here have tugged up their sleeves. Let him or her wander through the pages of the book like someone strolling through the city whilst discovering strategies or details that we have missed. We dare to make just one more note before you begin your journey.


Japan begins for me with the movies
José María de Lapuerta Montoya

Origins of a new urban type
Luis Manovel Mariño

Notes for the traveller
Alberto Nicolau Corbacho

Projects index

1_Kadoya. Atelier Bow-Wow
2_MEM. aat+Makoto Yokomizo Architects
3_Tomigaya Apartments. Satoshi Okada
4_Spira. Hiroyuki Ito
5_TEO. aat+Makoto Yokomizo Architects
6_Apartment I. Kumiko Inui
7_Ebi. yHa architects + L&C Design
8_Katayama apartments. Matsunami Mitsutomo
9_rim. Taketo Shimohigoshi
10_AEM. aat+Makoto Yokomizo Architects
11_12 Studiolo. CAt (C+A Tokyo)
12_FRAMES. Komada Architects’ Office
13_Clover house. Toru Kudo / Architecture Workshop
14_OTM. Koh Kitayama / Architecture Workshop
15_GRID. Hiroyuki Ito + Satoko Watanabe
16_Shimouma Apartments. KUS + team Timberize
17_Tashiro 71 /Chikusa apartment. Hideaki Takayanagi
18_SVELTO. Akio Yachida / Aerial Associates
19_Okachimachi Apartment. Go Hasegawa
20_Apartamentos Roan. Yukio Asari / Love Architecture
21_Cooperative garden. Osamu Nishida + Osamu Iwasaki / ondesign + Erika Nakagawa
22_Kitasenzoku Apartment. Tomoyuki Kurokawa
23_Atago Apartments. Takayuki Soeda / Soeda and Associates
24_Tatsumi Apartment House. Hiroyuki Ito
25_Apartamentos en Tokiwadai. MMAAA, Miki Motohashi Architects & Associates
26_Tree-ness House. Akihisa Hirata
27_Rayon du soleil. Be-Fun Design + タスエス
28_Sarugaku Plural Directed Tower. mhaa / Hirai Masatoshi
29_Tomizawa Komichi. Miurashin Architect+Associates
30_Hatsuse Mita. ihrmk

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