Momoyo Kaijima (b.1969, Tokyo) graduated from the Faculty of Domestic Science at Japan Women’s University in 1991. She founded Atelier Bow-Wow with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto in 1992. In 1994 she received her master degree from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. During 1996-97 she was a guest student at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ). In 2000 she completed her post-graduate program at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. She has served at the Art and Design School of the University of Tsukuba since 2000, currently as an associate professor (2009-). Since 2017 she has been serving as a Professor of Architectural Behaviorology at ETHZ.  While engaging in design projects of houses, public buildings and station plazas, etc., she has conducted numerous investigations of the city through architecture such as Made in Tokyo and Pet Architecture. She was the curator of Japan Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architectural Biennale.

Atelier Bow Wow
Jury Workshop Elli Mosayebi
Jury Workshop Anne Lacaton

Momoyo Kaijima - Projects

Mado Building

Architects: Atelier Bow Wow

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Year: 2006

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By the Architects:

This is a project for speculative building - the land is bought, value is added through design, tenants are found, and the project is sold off. The site is located in the wedge between a fork in the road on sloping land, so something with character as a landmark was sought by the client.

Since the tenant details were not determined, in developing the design we could not help but concentrate on contextual elements. In seeking out common criteria from responses to various separate external factors, such as the difference between levels on the site, the shading envelope, assumed circulation paths and so on, we came to feel the necessity of some internal rhythm. Here we started looked at the windows and balconies of the apartment buildings that surround the site, and in a mirroring relation, arranged openings in a chequered pattern on the three frontages facing roads. For the windows, we took the largest standard dimension for double glass windows as a baseline, varying the proportions in response to external conditions. As a result, the exterior façade came to have in parts an elastic expression, suggesting movement.

We placed an entrance in each frontage, and allowed this to be absorbed into the partial deformations of the repetition of windows in the façade, yielding parts revealing difference amidst the general pattern. The window can be understood here as an element that is shared in common with the surrounding context, as well as something engendering an internal rhythm; as a device that responds flexibly to external conditions while creating diverse internal settings; as a tool negotiating a multi-layered context. The name "Mado(means window in Japanese) Building" was taken from this.

House in Shinjuku

Architects: Atelier Bow Wow

Location: Shinjuku, Japan

Year: 2005

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By the Architects:

Remarkable work by Atelier Bow-Wow, Japanese masters of micro architecture. All this in only 109m2, with very well developed plants.

As it is difficult to maintain 3 places at the same time, including a laboratory in the university, we were looking for a place for our house and atelier, and a lot with the shape of a flag appeared. This site is surrounded by buildings and connected to the street by a small strip of soil. It is therefore difficult to design and build there, but it was a cheap site.In addition, it is the possibility to take advantage of our vast experience in turning challenging conditions into positive features for the houses. Seeking not to separate the house from the atelier, we arrived at a distribution with the two lower floors for the atelier and the two upper floors for the room, connected through a staircase whose rests are a house in themselves. The surface of the staircase rests ranges from 3 to 10 m2, and the style of the stairs varies to give each space a different degree of privacy.

To fit the sloping exterior walls resulting from the regulations, the interior columns of the 1st and 3rd floors are also sloping, and influence the habitability of the interior spaces. The resulting shape of the interior spaces inspired our imagination in singing to their use.

We also dug a well, whose water we use for cooling and radiant heating. The water from the well is pumped to the roof, from where it flows down the sloping walls, cooling these walls by vaporization during the summer. The outer wall is covered with granulated asphalt to retain water. It's fun to think of the building as a rock that transpires, with an internal circulatory system that can be seen from the houses. Vegetables will be planted at the top of this "rock", and a tall tree with a bench at the entrance.


The Architectures of Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology

Authors: Atelier Bow-Wow

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications

Year: 2010



The first book to document the Tokyo-based architectural firm, one of the most innovative practices working today. Achieving near cult status among architectural students around the world, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow have built a career confronting the challenges posed by dense urban environments. Their city houses--enclosed in vibrant, idiosyncratic forms--are distinguished by their capacity to accommodate the changing needs of the occupants. A basic feature is the permeability of interior spaces, where public and the more intimate places co-mingle, often in vertical structures with a total floor area that rarely exceeds 200 square meters. Atelier Bow-Wow has a dedicated research division that has published a number of treatises on vernacular architecture. This book will feature their newest research, including plans, as well as explorations on mobile or portable projects. The book includes key projects such as the Mini House, The Sway House, the Juicy House, House and Atelier Bow-Wow, the House Tower, and the Aco House.

Momoyo Kaijima- At MCH

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