Ryuji Nakamura and Associates

Neither too close to nor too distant

This is the building planned as the part of Maebashi shopping district revitalization project "Maebashi Design Project". It is the building for the handcrafted pasta restaurant "GRASSA" originating in Portland. The main persons concerned are the GRASSA owner, MMA(Maebashi Machinaka Agency), the building owner, the chef, the next-door Japanese-style confectionary store "NAKAMATA" and the shopping district union in total 6 people. The request from the owner of GRASSA was nothing. The requests from MMA were using of bricks as the design code and planting plants around the building. The requests from the owner of the building were the shape that can be used even if the contents change and using of bricks to the entire exterior. The requests from the chef were the parking space for one car and about 20 seats for the customers. The request from NAKAMATA was the passage to access to the site of NAKAMATA from the road facing GRASSA. The request from the shopping district union was adjusting the height and distance of building to the arcade. The site is the corner where two roads (the arcade is on one of them) intersect, and the shape is the distorted pentagon with no right angle. It is architect Jo Nagasaka to design the next-door Japanese-style confectionary store that the plan started nearly at the same time. I sympathized with his secret plot to “connect the back of the shopping street” by decreasing NAKAMATA’s building extremely. I tried not to break the feeling "back" as much as possible. And I aimed for the relationship of neither too close to nor too distant by making GRASSA not to open against the NAKAMATA’s backyard while providing the passage from the road to the backyard for NAKAMATA. Bricks, openings and planting (ivy) twine around the pentagonal pillar made by raising the distorted site shape to the height of the arcade while conscious (= ignoring) each corner. The building is cut off from the floor by using different bricks on the floor and the wall making and it looks like it just is placed. The exterior wall thus formed becomes the corner of the block, becomes the part of the facade of the shopping district, turns as far as the back side of the site that is not usually conscious, becomes part of NAKAMATA’s backyard and makes "back". On the other hand, in the interior, as fouling prevention, the wall is painted gray like the building was soaked in paint until the middle of the second floor, and the building is not felt that is divided into the first floor and the second floor but it is felt like one shell. The complementary relationship that GRASSA forms the shape of the corner of the town and NAKAMATA makes the empty space like the backyard behind it can not be done alone, but it is different from so-called redevelopment, it can be said to be the relationship unique to this project. Perhaps it may have a better relationship with the surrounding buildings and towns that the architecture as a single unit is incomplete rather than being equipped with all. In the future, with such a series of relationships, I expect that the depth of "back" will be born in the shopping districts that connected only at the facade side.

Title  Building M (GRASSA)
Completion  30 June 2018
Use  Restaurant
Site  2-7-21, Chiyoda-machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma, Japan
Site area  95.63 m2
Number of stories  2 stories
Structure  Steel
Building area  56.41 m2
Floor area  112.82 m2 (First floor area 56.41 m2, Second floor area 56.41 m2)
Height  6,177 mm
Client  MARS
Management  MMA (Maebashi Machinaka Agency)
Design  Ryuji Nakamura and Associates
Structural design  Yasutaka Konishi Structural Engineers
Electrical design  SOWA DELIGHT
Planting design  SOLSO
Photography  Ryuji Nakamura



名称 Mビル(GRASSA)
完成 2018年6月30日
用途 飲食店舗
場所 群馬県前橋市千代田町二丁目7番21号
敷地面積 95.63 ㎡
規模 地上2階
構造 鉄骨造
建築面積 56.41 ㎡
床面積 112.82 ㎡(1階/56.41 ㎡、2階/56.41 ㎡)
高さ 6,177 ㎜
施主 マーズ
企画 MMA(前橋まちなかエージェンシー)
設計 中村竜治建築設計事務所
構造設計 小西泰孝建築構造設計
電気設備設計 ソウワ・ディライト
機械設備設計 ヤマニ熱工業
植栽設計 ソルソ
施工 宮下工業
撮影 中村竜治
Ryuji Nakamura and Associates