Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects

Shingo Masuda Katsuhisa Otsubo
© Anna Nagai

‘Is it truly necessary?’ Under that credo, Shingo Masuda (b. 1982, Tokyo, JP) and Katsuhisa Otsubo (b. 1983, Saitama, JP) founded their eponymous architecture firm in Tokyo in 2007.

Their practice focuses on subtle interventions that pinpoint the most space-defining elements of a place. An in-depth analysis of the existing context is central to their work. The architects challenge our preconceptions by adapting these observations and integrating them into their projects, thus bringing (new) meaning and structure to a site. An architectural gesture in which interior and exterior are fused into a landscape that, to users and passers-by alike, feels bold and ephemeral, familiar yet wondrous.

Although the firm has been working mainly in Japan for the past fifteen years, the duo has enjoyed a great deal of international attention. For example, Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects won the AR Emerging Architecture Award 2014 and the prestigious Yoshioka Prize (Japan Architect) in 2015.

empty drop

Inspired by the density of Bruges' street plan, Shingo Masuda and Katsuhisa Ostubo have constructed a new, open 'place' for the city in St John's Hospital Park. Their geometric, brick-built sculpture subtracts ground from the historical orchard while also lending it structure. Here, the architects play with the concept of 'free' or undefined space and its absence in the city's geography, where every corner is well-defined.

Shingo Masuda Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects Filip Dujardin liggend