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In search of a truth: Static Quarry by Ikimono Architects, Japan


concrete stair detail

The introspective aspects of Japanese people, families and society, are explored in the design of this eight household tenement block designed by Ikimono Architects. What sound should your neighbour make? What should passers-by see of your life and the mess that goes with it? Is physical mess compatible with your life, does it define some aspects of it?

There is a psycho-analytical thread running through the design of this building, and those that choose to live in it run the risk of exposing their innermost secrets.At one level there is more outdoor space than indoor space associated with each apartment. The way that outdoor space should be used, has not been defined. But whatever goes on is, to some extent, shared with the street and passers by. They are invited to participate either as voyeurs, or more intimately where openings are directly onto the street.

Internally, the raw concrete box like spaces provide the backdrop against which the occupant's life must be lived. For the occupant, nothing is obscured, their possessions, their lotions and potions exist in stark relief against the brutal concrete finishes. I say brutal in the sense that anything compared against this ultimate standard of asceticism will appear trivial. What is the value of your life, is what the concrete appears to be asking.

And yet there is an architectural schizophrenia. We know there must be pipes, cables and other things buried in those walls. Each concealment is some kind of contaminant in that expression of purity, a little white lie in this earnest search for truth.

courtyard view

night perspective

day perspective

street elevation

another street elevation

A lounge

stair landing

brutal aircon

studio ladder

Daytime external shot

Garage view

open on to street

an apartment lounge

balustrade detail

stair detail


stair detail


axo drawing

floor plans

section drawings


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