Published in DASH #15 – Home Work City
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Local Community Area

The Machiya as a New Model for Dwelling

Is it possible to organize a neighbourhood in which living and working are interwoven in a natural way? In which there is room for collectivism, for the creation of a strong community, while the privacy of the resident is respected? In 2012, Japanese studio Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop carried out a design study into a new way of living, introducing a concept that included approximately 500 people living together as a collective, the Local Community Area (LCA). The plan embodied fierce criticism of Japanese housing policies, which promote owner-occupied housing in order to stimulate the economy while people with low incomes have hardly any opportunities on the housing market. It is a policy that is very unilaterally focused on single-family homes and one-room apartments, which as individual units have little connection with the neighbourhood.