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Setagaya-ku Fukasawa Symbiotic Housing Complex

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© Masaharu Uchiki
© Masaharu Uchiki © Tajima Roofing Inc. © Masaharu Uchiki  

Project Outline

A rebuilding initiative of post-war social housing asset for a sustainable future
The Setagaya Ward decided to dismantle the 39 municipally owned and dilapidated wooden detached houses, built in 1952 as a post-war policy drive on a site of 7,388m2, and to replace them with a complex of five apartments of 70 dwelling units in total, associated with a variety of community facilities under the banner of “Environmentally Symbiotic Housing”.

The goals of this initiative were 1) to help preserve the global environment, 2) to be in harmony with the local environment, and 3) to provide a comfortable and healthy residential environment, through this rebuilding process. Respecting and preserving the historical elements of the place including the rich greenery were the central planning agendas. It was required to enhance the quality of life on and off the site with least environmental loads, as well as to guarantee an increase of its affordable housing capacity. The new housing was, therefore, designed and built with deep consideration to the local natural conditions, and incorporated various passive day-lighting, heating, and cooling solutions.

The types of apartment were planned to create a social-mix, integrating custom-built units for disabled users and others for elderly residents into the ordinary social housing type around the central court. The rebuilt complex reached its 10th anniversary in April 2007, and has developed again into a close-knit community nowadays unusual in Tokyo through its maturing process.

The voluntary Residents’ Association has been providing a forum for discussion and problem-solving, and also organized cleaning, recycling, and gardening rotas. The residents’ prior involvement in the planning and running process of the complex helped enhance the level of their communal and environmental awareness.

As a governmental pilot project, this initiative has attracted attentions and debates locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally (World Habitat Award 2002).

Basic Information

[CASBEE rank] A  (4 stars)
[CASBEE tool used] CASBEE for New Construction (2004 edition)
[Location] Setagaya Ward, Tokyo
[Completion date]

March, 1997

[Site area] 7,388 m2
[Total floor area] 6,200 m2
[Structure] Apartment 1: RC Rahmen Construction, Apartment 2-5: RC Wall Construction
[Floors] Block 1: 3-5 floors above ground, Blocks 2-5: 3 floors above ground (in part, 4 floors)
[Owner] Setagaya Ward
[Designer] Setagaya Ward + Ichiura Planners & Architects / IWAMURA Atelier Co.,Ltd.
[Contractor] Daimei Kensetsu / Tateishi Kensetsu JV, Yokoyama Corporation / Omata Kensetsu JV (construction)

Information for visitors

Allowed only in public areas
Housing Division, Setagaya Ward


UIA Work Programme: Architecture of the Future "AOF Document"1999, Japan Institute of Architects, pp78-81
R.J. Cole et. al. "Buildings, Culture & Environment"2003, Blackwell Publishing, pp341-356


  • 1st JIA Sustainable Architecture Award, Prize of Excellence (The Japan Institute of Architects, 2000)
  • Selected Architectural Designs of the AIJ (The Architectural Institute of Japan, 2000)
  • World Habitat Awards 2002, (United Nations + Building and Social Housing Foundation, and others
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These cases are described based on assessment results obtained using CASBEE.
CASBEE is a method for rating the environmental performance of buildings using Building Environmental Efficiency (BEE) as an indicator, which is based on the results of separate scores obtained for Q-1~Q-3 (Quality) and LR-1~LR-3 (Load Reduction).