Katsushika Ward Office

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

The three-story exposed-concrete building is located in an area of low land. The town is one of Tokyo’s popular shita-machi areas – which literally means low town – surrounded by three rivers.

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

Architect Takeo Sato designed the building on the 2.1 meters-high (6.9 feet) pilotis to protect it in case the surrounding rivers flooded. The modernist pilotis were criticized at the time for making the ground level too dark and vacant, but it provided an effieicnet parking garage for cars, which were becoming very popular in early 60’s Japan.

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

The office was praised in JA (April 1963) for its “hall for citizens” on the second floor, where local residents could come to sit down, relax, and read magazines during their lunch.

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

Adjacent to the main building, the street-cleaning department’s parking garage was covered this crater-like circular concrete roof.

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

The influence of traditional Japanese timber architecture is clear in the concrete beams that appear to intersect one another. They extend to support cantilevered terraces that shade the perimeter of the building.

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Katsushika Ward Office by Takeo Sato Architects & Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha