How to Use Shibaura House: A Video Guide to the Designer Tokyo Community Space

Carey Finn
This post first appeared on Japan Trends.

Shibaura House is a community space in the Tokyo district of Shibaura, a neighborhood in the south of the city near the port. The stylish glass building was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and hosts private functions, as well as regular workshops and art events. Here’s how to make the most of this cool spot.

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There’s always something happening at the community centre – cheap creative events for kids, dance workshops, yoga lessons, cooking and food events, and more. You can check the Shibaura House Facebook page for photos from past events.

You can rent the first floor kitchen out for cooking lessons or parties. You can also use the work space on the second floor, as well as catch some sun on the southern terrace, and rent meeting rooms out on the third floor.

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When the center first opened in 2011, its translucent architecture attracted quite a bit of gushing from the likes of Design Boom et al. Arc Space compared the building to a Japanese paper lantern: “Public and private programs interweave in this cunning, white-clad amalgamation of boxy geometric volumes and playful curves… The most luxurious thing about Shibaura House is the spaciousness of its rooms in a city notorious for its exorbitant land prices.” And stuff like that.

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Earlier this year Shibaura House previously published a series of illustrated bilingual “Kanto Tour Guides” with the help of 10 foreigners (why only foreigners, we’re not sure). Contributors included Lucas Badtke-Berkow, Jean Snow, Vivian Morelli, and Jared Braiterman.

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It also recently produced this vaguely amusing English-language video introducing its facility and services.



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The presenter is one “Charlie”, who for reasons unknown does the whole video in a top hat.

While casual visitors are perhaps unlikely to be passing through the business district of Shibaura (though a walk by the canals is nice), you might as well pop in if you are nearby. A lot of people take their lunch there and chill. On the free ground-floor space open to the public, there is free wi-fi. There is also a library with many books, including children’s books and a ton of books about architecture (of course!) and the staff can speak English. Oh, and the best part – a cup of coffee only costs ¥100.


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