And the winner is….???
At a first glance, it isn’t much about the 2020 Olympics I’m writing here. It just seems to be about a number of blocks of goverment housing that, at least from the outside, offer a rather pitiful picture, but which may be, nonetheless, appreciated by their inhabitants. Despite their shabby exterior (or maybe just because of it), it is about high time to document these relics of times that seem to be long ago, before they are going to disappear. And the “Toei Kasumigaoka Apartments“ (都営霞ヶ丘アパート / とえいかすみがおかアパート) will disappear – that much is certain since September 2013. They will have to make space for the new Olympic Arena that is going to be built here for the 2020 summer Olympics – at the spot where the Olympic Arena of 1964 is still present. And for that, it seems, just a little more space is needed.
With other words: The core of the olympic events that are planned for summer 2020 will take place here, in the heart of Tōkyō – and obviously every square-inch is going to be needed for that.
The “Toei Kasumigaoka Apartments“ are 224 so-called 2DK apartments (2 roomes + dining-kitchen) and 3DK apartments (3 rooms + dining-kitchen), which were at their times (and are still today) built in a most standardized way in order to accommodate modern demands of family housing on the one hand and the scarce space in the emerging city on the other. Traditionally the “rooms” had tatami (straw-mat)-flooring – perfectly fitted to be used as living rooms and bed rooms. The “Kasumigaoka Apartments“, built 1960 to 1966, are a rather representative (though one wouldn’t call it “pretty” any longer) example for this kind of urban and social housing of its time.
The 2-room apartments provide a total of 32 sqm space, the 3-room apartments 46 sqm – when they were built, they must have been absolut luxury. And even today bigger places aren’t to be had in the centre of the city for an average income.
Address of the apartments: