January 3, 2022
The Escenario SHIROKANE building won Best of Best in the mixed-use architecture category at the 2021 Architecture MasterPrize.
This project by Ryuichi Sasaki/Sasaki Architecture has residential, retail, and office spaces within the building complex. It is located in Shirokane, Minato ward in Tokyo, Japan, at a corner of a four-way intersection on Gonohashidori—a street which extends to the south of Furukawa River.
The five-story building’s exterior is composed of reinforced concrete bearing walls, with a shimmering surface in the light—achieved through the effect of the shifting stainless steel panels and concrete spiral design. This façade composition allows the shadows falling on the street to shift depending on the time of day and seasonal changes. This design is appropriate for the lively Shirokane town. While the first floor of the building consists of restaurant units, accessed through a sliding glass door entrance, the second to fourth floors each have two residential units. Finally, on the fourth floor, an entrance to a staircase leads up to the fifth-floor maisonette, which consists of office space.
These units range from one-person studios to one-bedroom apartments with living, dining, and kitchen spaces. These units are designed to have large openings in square forms, in order to recreate the effect of space, light, and wind. White and concrete walls are used to emphasize the contrast of the materials. The spatial relationship between the room areas is therefore designed to meet the individual needs of each resident, compromising a flexible structure. Additionally, the maisonette design—consisting of a two-story, 3.7 m (12.14 ft) high ceiling with a loft space—may not only be used as an office space but also as a residential area.
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