In most major cities, interacting with your neighbors is equal parts chance and choice. Maybe you’ll pass them from time to time in the hallway, but for the most part, city living is a highly-secluded endeavor if you want it to be.
That’s not the case at this new development in Mihama, Japan, which is built to encourage interaction between residents. The architects at Studio Velocity designed the building with ten detached units that straddle the line between apartment and house.
All of the units have a living room with glass doors that slide open onto a wooden deck facing a communal courtyard. The doors of one home are steps away from the deck of another, effectively blurring the lines between private and communal space.
The arrangement, while certainly not for everyone, has been well-received by residents, the architects claim. On a recent visit, the designers observed their handiwork: “One woman was playing in the garden with a baby boy, the neighbor’s son. Two families, composed by two mothers and three elementary school children, gathered to have a late lunch together. One of them, asked by her mother, brought food she had cooked to another family next door.”