“The buildings look like a set of building blocks piled up to the brink of collapsing,” says architect Kunihiko Matsuba. But of course they don’t. The Nagasawa Dental Clinic in Hachioji is Matsuba’s latest work and is consistent with his firm’s aesthetic of creating “architecture that feels strange.” And strange it is. When it opened late last year in the Western suburb of Tokyo several residents who drove by had to make a u-turn to come back for a 2nd look.
The three blocky structures are a parking garage, residence and dental clinic. The residence sits on top of the garage and clinic, appearing to float in mid-air. The placement of the 3 blocks – the garage close to the road, the clinic as far away as humanly possible, and the home barely resting on the edge – “achieved our two goals,” said Matsuba. “Making the parking space easy to use and emphasizing the presence of the structures.”
Kunihiko Matsuba is a young architect, was born in 1979. In addition to running his architectural firm he also organizes a series of events called AKITEN (short for akiteｎpo or, ”vacant stores”). The group converts vacant stores into art galleries for a limited period of time as part of an initiative to promote the shopping center and attract people.