Opinion by Richard Baird.
APartMENT is a residential property development in Kitakagaya, a former industrial area of Osaka, Japan. It is part of the Kitakagaya Creative Village Project, an initiative to turn an area, left unused since 1988 following the withdrawal of Namura Shipbuilding Co., into a creative hub. With recent investment many of the warehouses and sprawling factory buildings have been turned into creative spaces and facilities to attract artists, architects and arts organizations.
Working in collaboration with 8 artists, APartMENT is an effort to renovate worker’s housing of Kitakagaya’s industrial past for these new creative inhabitants. This development goes beyond architecture, also encompassing contemporary art, product design and lighting, new technology, interior design and landscaping. APartMENT is made up of three floors, has 18 apartments and a “tool box project” / workshop that allows residents to “edit” their space. It also features a brand identity by local studio UMA. This included naming, wordmark, signage and facade design.