The idea of windows like sunbeams filtered through trees developed with the following methods: lined up
balconies of average collective housing are completely hidden here there is no balcony for each room
the ceiling height of one room is raised - dwelling units are elevated one meter from the ground -
floor level of entrance and apartments is different - center of the
wall surface is curved - the center of the façade of the
architecture is sculptured - a curved winding slit is made on the curved wall surface - the shape of the
holes matches with the winding slit - the result is one shape of a plant growing roots undulating from it.
Since curved holes are made on a carved wall surface, it is inevitable that the section of the holes is also
twisted. This distortion resembles the shape of plants and the organic and free style of nature.
The entrance to the house is from the root carved into the center of the front wall.
An inner pathway peculiar to Kyoto can be found there. An inner pathway is a narrow corridor which runs
from street to street and from lot to lot.
In this project the inner path is connected to the garden of the town house of the client. He manages this
collective housing by himself. It is his daily routine to do sweeping, arranging flowers at the entrance,
and watering the path. Thus he enjoys his post-retirement years.
This land was once the site of shihachijo-palace, which was the residence of the hero of the Japanese
classical tragedy, “Tale of Heike.” It was a stage of the rise and fall of a clan in the 12th century.
Such an old and sad memory is cherished and still told among the people of this neighborhood.
The collective housing that is built on such a historical place should not be seen as an average apartment
house. Such a notion occurred to us, which might have led us to the idea of an “immortal tree.”
We, therefore, designed a building which does not take vaguely a shape of a tree, but rather an intense
and massive form with a hint of movement.
The lot size is 16m×19m. This architecture provides an answer to how to build a low collective housing in
a quiet but dense place.
What does the name Saitan mean? Tan is the color of the shrine gates, vermilion. It is also the color of
pale red granite stone. Vermilion will not be weathered. It is said that vermillion is a sacred color and
it used to be applied on serving dishes and bows and arrows to make them holy.
Sai means variety of beautiful colors that make something more attractive.