Japan’s first high-rise condominium to be redeveloped

Miyamasuzaka Building Shibuya 1

After several years of discussions, redevelopment plans have finally been announced for the 62-year old Miyamasuzaka Building / Miyamasuzaka Apaato in Shibuya. Demolition of the current building is expected to start in February 2016, with the new building to be completed by 2020. The building’s owners association voted in favour of redevelopment in March 2012.

This was Japan’s first high-rise condominium. It was developed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Construction and completed in 1953. The building has 11 storeys above ground and one basement floor.

The typical apartment size in this building ranged from 39 ~ 43 sqm (420 ~ 463 sq.ft). Although the rooms may be small by today’s standards, the building was considered to be the epitome of luxury living at the time. When new, prices ranged from 600,000 ~ 1,000,000 yen, and almost all of the buyers were high-income earners such as bureaucrats, bankers or university professors.

In the beginning the building had elevator girls who would operate the elevators for residents and guests. Each floor had a postal chute next to the elevators where occupants could drop their mail. The letters would drop down the chute to the first floor where the postman would collect them. Apartments had central heating, gas hot water heating and flush-type toilets.

The first floor contained 20 retail stores, floors 2 ~ 4 contained 36 offices, while floors 5 ~ 11 contained 70 residential apartments.

In 2002, the building was used as the setting for Japanese horror movie ‘Dark Water’.

Shibuya Miyamasuzaka Building 1
The Shibuya Miyamasuzaka Building in 1955 and 1964 (Images via http://www.shibuyamiyamasu.jp).


Shibuya Miyamasuzaka Building 10

The new building will have 15 storeys and a total floor area of 14,993 sqm (161,000 sq.ft). It will also be a mixed-use building with 6 retail spaces, 25 offices and 153 residential apartments (up from 70 that were in the old building). Construction is scheduled to start in January 2017 with completion expected in May 2020. Asahi Kasei Residence is in charge of the redevelopment, with planning by Nikken Housing System

The nearby Shibuya Station area is also undergoing a massive transformation over the next 12 years with several high-rise buildings planned for completion between 2020 ~ 2027.


2-19-4 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, September 25, 2015.
The Daily Engineering & Construction News, September 25, 2015.

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