Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, in Void Metabolism, asserts that in order to understand the current condition of the Tokyo neighborhood, one must understand the cycle of housing. Due to various economic, legal, and social forces, houses grow smaller as lots become subdivided and land prices rise. 

Neighborhoods may then be made more readable by attempting to discern the "generation" of a site. This applies to commercial neighborhoods as well as residential. What at first appears a jumble of styles and sizes becomes more clear.

This pressure, he continues, forces buildings to completely fill their potential envelopes, stifling outdoor life and creating buildings which simply "fill in the gaps." For the next generation of housing, Japanese architects should strive for three conditions:


  • Bringing people from outside of the family back inside the house
  • Increasing opportunities to dwell outside the house
  • Redefining the gaps


AuthorChris Hamby