This multi-use building in Niigata City, Japan, functions like a small town with its own park, restaurant, cobblestone alley and offices. Takeru Shoji Architects wrapped the building in an envelope made of dense wooden louvers which protect the privacy of the occupants while allowing them to glimpse the surrounding urban fabric.
The building is named Wow! Sta., and it’s located in Horinouchi, an area where Niigata City center meets the suburbs. It provides a calm, private space just steps away from a busy main road. The architects addressed space, time, scale and ambiance in order to bring some order to the messy, hurried city life.
A restaurant occupies the ground floor, and the building features a park-like outdoor dining area. Office spaces occupy the second floor, which is enclosed by trees rising up from the lush garden below. The third floor houses a multipurpose rental space with a kitchen and bathroom. A path meanders through the building, connecting all three floors and allowing visitors and occupants to enjoy the surrounding foliage.
Photos by Takeru Shoji Architects, Koichi Satake