Tokyo + the Future of Hyperdensity

Advanced Architecture Studio 6

Spring 2013

Galia Solomonoff + Vishaan Chakrabarti, critics, with Andy Vann + Omar Toro-Vaca

Many of the challenges facing hyperdense cities worldwide confront Tokyo. The society is aging, suburbs are gaining popularity, affordable housing is scant, socioeconomic diversity is rare, public funding for infrastructure is scarce and threats from climate change are increasingly real. All this adds a significant maintenance burden to the city and its extensive infrastructure making development models that produced neighborhoods like Ginza and Marunouchi seemingly obsolete. However, land values in these areas continue to be high, suggesting that Tokyo could benefit from a fresh approach to increasing density. In coordination with Hulic, the Japanese real estate company, the studio comprised of architecture and real estate students designed buildings for a site located between these districts, while considering master plans for parts of Tokyo.

What limits density? Is density limited by core infrastructural concerns such as water, power, or sewage? Is density limited by planning concerns such as light and air, depression or inequity? Is density limited by technological concerns such as elevators, seismic resilience or airspace interference? Is density limited by development concerns such as market saturation or financing constraints?

Our responses to programs drew upon new spatial demands for housing across income and age spectrums, workspace, culture, technology, healthcare and a desire to move away from car culture. The results envisioned the capacity of density to foster distinct urban forms and patterns of occupation belying a tendency toward the generic.

Amy Maresko + Ayesha Husain A/B
Harry S. Byron, Luis Alarcon + Sylvia Yiqiao Zhang C/D/E