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Floor plan

City of Rooms

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Neighborhood axonometric collage

Neighborhood axonometric collage

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Exterior view and sectional details

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Fragmentation of plots through urbanization of Ota-ku neighborhood

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Exterior view | Outdoors as domestic space

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Master plan

Academic Work

Columbia GSAPP 2019

Instructor Anna Puigjaner, MAIO Architects

Site: Tokyo, Japan

Partner: Juan Pablo Uribe

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City of Rooms | concept

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Catalogue of rooms

Contemporary Tokyo is witnessing declining population, marriage and birth rates, as well as an increasing aging population. Surveys show that the number of people per household in Tokyo dropped to a historic 1.8. By 2040 half of the Japanese population will be living alone, and that reality has already been surpassed in Tokyo.


The impressive numbers have given rise to widespread initiatives to investigate new types of domesticity that are not linked to the idea of the nuclear family as the primary component of society. With the Japanese society progressing towards individuality, these new housing typologies have been thought to develop new forms of individual dwelling while investigating different types of community.


What does this mean for a city? 


A city of individuals is a city that is not made out of houses but out of rooms; boundaries are constantly being renegotiated, and new types of domesticity emerge. 


It is a city of different rooms. Different assemblies, construction methods, infinite programs. 


A city of rooms close together, multiple tenancy, rental, density. The evolution of land ownership and fragmentation blur and transform boundaries. 


A city of small rooms under small rooms. 


A city of personal objects by the doors, of storage under the stairs, of bicycles, of potted plants. The outside is domestic: it’s a collection of things - of things that belong to others. 


A city of outdoor spaces proportioned in a domestic scale. The small alleyways of Tokyo become even more pervasive and get many different features, movements, rhythms. They now connect spaces that before turned their backs to each other.


This is a city of rooms where domesticity is negotiated; where integration and independence have the potential to build relevant bonds between the individual and the city. 

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