Making a Point: Eastern Design Office's "On the Corner"

Making a Point: Eastern Design Office's "On the Corner"

Jason Loper
Nov 30, 2011

I've always been fascinated with flat iron buildings - those triangular structures that fit into wedge shaped lots on city corners. This modern update in Shiga, Japan is not only a cool design, it also makes a statement about working with what you've got.

Beyond being cool, the design firm behind this building, Eastern Design Office, is also making a point (literally and figuratively). From their site…

The site is a manufacturing area in Youkaichi City in Shiga Prefecture.
There are many big factories in this town ... This is a residential area as well an industrial area. There is a highway interchange nearby the town. The shape of the lot is a sharp triangle which is unusual for building a house. The site is a wedge-shaped flatiron lot which remained at a corner where two streets meet at an acute angel. It was left behind neither residential nor for industrial development. No one wanted to buy it, and the public sector would not invest to change it into a park: a lot remained bereft of life for a long time.

I love that story behind the design of this building. A city lot that sat unused for years because it didn't look practical for development gets saved by a building that is handsomely designed and useful.

It also reminds me of how we all have to work with our own spaces. We move into these homes that have their own special challenges — limited closet space, small or unusually shaped rooms, lighting problems — and we have to find a way to make it work. And sometimes out of those challenges comes beautiful design.

Check out lots more photos and floor plans of On the Corner at Eastern Design Office.

Images: Eastern Design Office via Gizmodo

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