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Living in Roji Alleys : smallness, sharing & public space

Attilio Michele De Palma

Living in Roji Alleys : smallness, sharing & public space.

Rel. Lorena Alessio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2016



Before starting my experience as an internship student at the Kengo Kuma Lab at The University of Tokyo, I had participated In the 2nd edition of the TTT workshop. This was an international workshop that involved the 3 different universities, the Polytechnic of Turin, the Feng Chia university of Taichung (Taiwan) and the University of Tokyo. The theme concerned with the design of a pavilion inside an old urban system of narrow roads called roji. After the workshop I started my experience as an international internship student at the Kengo Kuma Lab, there I started researching on my thesis theme at the university library, meanwhile I was participating at the students meeting for the competition in which the Lab was involved, and attending at the english-spoken lectures.

By working in contact with the students of the lab, I had the occasion to know and speak with other professors interested in the same case I was studying. In particular I got in contact with professor Hidenobu Jinnai, a professor of History, at the Hosei University, who, from that moment on, I regularly met to show him the work in progress analysis.

The workshop was an occasion to be introduced inside the university environment, what I did not expect was to discover another face of the Tokyo city that I was used to know. This was not my first time in Tokyo, and in Japan in general, I had already been there during the 1 “edition of the TTT workshop and when I was younger, I was used to follow my father in his working travels to Tokyo and Osaka. During the field excursion around in the historical districts that the workshop treated, I found myself discovering a completely different city from the one I was used to know. This was not made of the super-crowded roads of Shibuya, there were no neon-light advertisings on the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, which were all so different in details, but looked so similar. Here, just some blocks away from the major street, I could find a human-scale city, a smaller Tokyo, where a slower urban and social environment was apparently still alive. This became a turning point of my experience and from that moment on I decided to shift there the studies of my thesis, to focus my efforts on understanding this little fragment of the city, how they have survived on the redevelopments of the city, and how they could be a further alternative to the big scale Tokyo.

Relators: Lorena Alessio
Publication type: Printed
Number of Pages: 126
Subjects: A Architettura > AH Buildings and equipment for the home
G Geografia, Antropologia e Luoghi geografici > GD Estero
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/4881


TTT Workshop + The University of Tokyo + Hosei University


Edo / Tokyo the identity and the frame

Urban Typologies

Towns people

The Roji community






Relation between house and roji


How the housing typologies have changed

New regulation and their effects

The social consequences


Roji, an element to rediscover Edo-Tokyo

Roji and greenery | Bottom-up improvement of the city




CHAPTHER 9 - SMALLNESS, Remodelling the nagaya typologies



CHAPTER 10 - SHARING, New way of living in roji

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016


CHAPTER 11- PUBLIC SPACE, on the built frame / as open space




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