Textured Buildings – Cool and Ugly!

There’s a very niche style of building decoration in Tokyo which one occasionally encounters during wanderings – that of extreme texture.

These mansion blocks (known as “apartments” in Western nations) adhere to a vaguely similar style with their white plaster and blue tiles, which would perhaps be described as “absolutely abysmal” by the typical modern-loving Tokyoites.

With textures of varying hybrids between abstracted alphabetics and flattened sea creatures, these buildings are truly fascinating and appalling in equal measure.

However to many, like some B-movies, they’re so awful that they’re actually very cool. And to retro-lovers like myself, they’re simply stunning.


All were built by the Shuwa Corporation and are collectively known as the Shuwa Residence series.

Over 50 such buildings were made between 1964 and 1983. The company went bankrupt at the turn of the century but the buildings continue to be popular for their retro design and the fact that they were built to a high standard in quite expensive locations.


I Love Shuwa
– a comprehensive site including history and listings of all the Shuwa Residence buildings.

See the locations in this post on Google Maps:







~ by JapanGasm on 2 May, 2012.

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