The Kabuki-Cho project was Stuart’s first building project for RRP and it opened a deep routed fascination with technology and expression of form which remains a consistent theme today in the work of Stuart Forbes Associates.
The project provides a vivid example of a response to a very specific urban context; an area of small - scale streets close to Shinjuku commercial district. The site was extremely constrained with daylight a precious commodity in the narrow road onto which the building fronts. Although the building is small in scale great attention was paid to the detailing of the façade using repetitive functional elements to define the lightweight language of the building.
The final scheme (after the abandonment of initial plans for a hotel) was a twelve-storey office building (two floors below ground level), its main floors canted out over a void which is infilled with a dramatic glazed roof, lighting a public basement area which contains restaurants and bars.
The roof is hung from the main structure. The frame, engineered in line with local fire safety and seismic protection regulations, is a composite structure of steel and concrete. As usual, lift, stairs and other services are concentrated in a strongly modeled tower, which terminates in a viewing platform above a penthouse apartment.