Tokyo’s oldest ‘danchi’ apartment block to be redeveloped

Possibly the oldest surviving public housing block in Tokyo will soon be demolished to make way for new housing for its residents. The Nakano Jutaku was built in 1951, just six years after the end of WWII. It also preceded the former Japan Housing Agency (now the Urban Renaissance Agency) that was founded in 1955 to address a severe housing shortage.

The Nakano Jutaku was developed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Housing Supply Corporation. In total, seven four-story buildings with 248 rental apartments were built on a 10,000 sqm site just a few minutes walk from Nakano Station.

The apartment blocks were considered a leading example of post-war modern housing. Each apartment was designed with two tatami rooms, a small kitchen, toilet, but no bathrooms. It was not unusual for rental housing at the time to have no bathrooms, with residents following the tradition of the time by going to a nearby bathhouse. As times changed, bathrooms were often added by building-in the balconies. 

After demolition, the Housing Supply Corporation will build new rental housing on the site. In May, they completed a 14-story, 203-unit apartment building on part of the site. Studios around 30 sqm (323 sq.ft) in size can be rented from approximately 128,000 Yen (approx. 1,200 USD) per month, while 62 sqm (667 sq.ft) two-bedroom apartments go for 243,000 Yen (approx. 2,300 USD) per month under 10-year fixed-term leases.


Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo

Source: R.E.port, July 25, 2019.

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