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Step Tower by EASTERN Design Office.

Photo credits: Koichi Torimura.

A small apartment block in Osaka, Japan, has been given a strong sculptural identity by virtue of its gleaming white walls, that will surely fade, and its heavily sculpted balcony slots that will not.

Taller than its immediate neighbours, at 10 stories, the building's massing and formal strength cause it to stand – out. Interestingly, its stripped-down “moderne” language, reminiscent of the early 1930s, looks futuristic and machine like, even today.

The architects, EASTERN Design Office, have evoked a spirit of optimism and progress with their design that is synonymous with the Art Deco, and grand ocean liners. It is an appropriate metaphor in that Ibaraki-city, outside of Osaka, where it is located, is fast becoming a town associated with the research and development conducted in the nearby universities and companies.

The building has a reinforced concrete structure and has a commercial space at ground level with single apartments from first to third floors, and family units above.

Gratitude to e-architect.

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