An 81-year old house in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward will be demolished next month. A farewell open-house event was held on November 16 and 17 by a Bunkyo historical preservation society, with over 280 visitors lining up to visit the home for the last time.
The two developers of a 107-unit condominium in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward that lost its building permit two months prior to completion have lost their appeal against the city in a court ruling on May 24.
Construction of the 8-storey ‘Le Cinq Koishikawa Korakuen’ building began in 2013. In early November 2015, just two months prior to completion, the city revoked the building’s construction certificate due to a major design flaw, effectively halting construction. Under the Building Standards Act, multi-dwelling buildings must have emergency escape stairs providing a direct exit outdoors. This building’s emergency stairs exited into the garage, which is 2.5 meters above ground level and 19 meters from the outside.
Nestled down in a quiet and hidden location in Tokyo’s Hongo neighbourhood is a 91-year old building that was converted into condominium-type apartments several years ago, making it the oldest apartment conversion project in Japan.
The Kyudo Gakusha was built in 1926 as a student dormitory. It was designed by architect Goichi Takeda (1872-1938) and originally had 30 rooms, each about 10 sqm in size, as well as a common area with dining hall and library. The 3-storey building is one of Japan’s earliest reinforced concrete buildings.
The building fell into disrepair in the 1990s, with roof leaks causing serious damage to the 2nd and 3rd floors and rendering them unlivable. In the early 2000s, the owner had considered demolishing the historic building and replacing it with a block of studio apartments.