Makuhari Housing • Location: Chiba, Japan • Architect: Steven Holl • Built: 1992 • Units: 190 Notable: The belvedere located at the top of the building offers panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji. The building also includes retail space, public facilities, and two intimate courtyards.
Paul Warchol Makuhari Housing • Location: Chiba, Japan • Architect: Steven Holl • Built: 1992 • Units: 190 Notable: The belvedere located at the top of the building offers panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji. The building also includes retail space, public facilities, and two intimate courtyards.

Makuhari Housing was designed within a very restrictive set of planning guidelines, yet the final result is very creative and flexible. The project offers a variety of housing—that variety and creativity is what interests me. The exterior concrete load-bearing walls allow the interior space to be totally flexible, with the ability to place and move walls as the various architects designed the units. This helped construction begin before the unit designs were finished. I like the architect’s vision of the ‘silent exterior’ and ‘active structure.’ The overall frame is set and individual pieces move within this frame for a variety of life-oriented living space.

—Paul Van Slyke, partner, Goode Van Slyke Architecture, Atlanta