Nexus Housing • Location: Fukuoka, Japan • Architect: Rem Koolhaas of OMA • Built: 1991 • Units: 24 Notable: To emphasize the inversion of the typology, Koolhaas designed the perimeter wall of the housing out of large, dark basalt stones, echoing the Japanese castle wall while making the roofscape white and as visually fluid as possible.
OMA/Hiroyuki Kawano Nexus Housing • Location: Fukuoka, Japan • Architect: Rem Koolhaas of OMA • Built: 1991 • Units: 24 Notable: To emphasize the inversion of the typology, Koolhaas designed the perimeter wall of the housing out of large, dark basalt stones, echoing the Japanese castle wall while making the roofscape white and as visually fluid as possible.

It is rare nowadays to find new architectural typologies, let alone ones that improve on our way of living. That is exactly why I find this project to be remarkable and wonderful. In one bold stroke, Koolhaas shattered the notion that the quality of urban or dense housing depends on the size and extent of windows in a perimeter wall. Koolhaas deliberately eliminated almost all outside horizontal views and instead created inward-looking units, each enjoying abundant light and exterior landscape through a courtyard. The configuration also creates a brilliant building section where each unit has a parking space immediately below it. The scheme literally inverts the apartment typology sideways, making the roof into the real window and flipping our visual horizon.

—Saul Jabbawy, director of design, EwingCole, Philadelphia