Enhako Building / Organic Design Architecture Studio
Text description provided by the architects. Enhako Building is located about a 15-minute walk from the nearest suburban train station, on the border between a residential and mixed commercial district. The client contacted us as they were considering the location but were unsure if a rented commercial building there would be able to attract a steady stream of people as the location is one block off the main road and not very close to the station.
During the week, the elderly, housewives and children cross the border between the two aforementioned neighborhoods for various reasons. The commercial district contains a mix of clinics, osteopath offices and welfare facilities frequented by the elderly; supermarkets and cafes where housewives gather; and test prep centers attended by children. On weekends, families shop at the morning market in the town hall car park, spend time in the large park and eat at cafes or family restaurants before returning to the residential area. We envisioned the building as a familiar place for people coming and going between the two areas, with verandas where they can stop and rest.
People stream through the building both on weekends and during the week. Although the crowds are smaller than one would find closer to a station, there is reliable foot traffic in the community. Aiming at this, we created a porch adjacent to the street and wrapped balconies around the second and third floors. The undersides of the balconies form organically shaped, warm wooden eaves that draw people in and define the design of the building.
The building faces north to take advantage of views across a tree-lined street to the park and City Hall, as well as inviting the sights and sounds of nearby summer festivals and plant fairs. The multifunctional building houses shops and a clinic and the veranda extends invitingly into the street so that people of all ages can drop by for their outings in the area during the week and at the weekend. Our goal was to design a commercial building that will be carried by community members in this way. The interior can be rented as a whole, by floor or by unit, depending on needs.
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