Completion : 10.2022
Location : Saitama Japan
Use : Carport
Client : Kadota art LLC.
Structure Design : Tatsumi Terado (Tatsumi Terado Structural Studio)
Photo : Tomoki Hirokawa
Photo ( Drone's-eye view) : Takuma Izukawa

This is a carport planned for a residential area in the suburbs of Sakado City, Saitama Prefecture. The structure was added as an extension on the site where the studio of Mitsumasa Kadota, an abstract painter active both in Japan and overseas, is located. The structure functions as the carport and eaves for the entrance and exit of Mr. Kadota’s studio.



The structure is a simple one, consisting of an irregularly shaped roof that traces the form between the plot boundary and structure, the main building, and the beams and pillars that support the roof. Corrugated Galvalume steel sheets cover the roof, and all other components are made of hot-dip galvanized steel.

The two beams of the X and Y axes do not cross at ninety degrees, but are instead are joined with misalignments of one to two degrees due to the beams and pillars being arranged to accommodate the roof’s irregular shape. These slight misalignments exist at a level almost imperceptible to human senses, and the structure is more expensive than conventional ones owing to materials that deviate from standard specifications. From an economically rational standpoint, these offsets should be corrected. But we boldly held to the original plan.

The history of architecture has experienced various transformations through technical innovations that have entered society. Prime examples are the recent application of 3D printers to mass-produce architecture and the introduction of design methods that incorporate AI. I believe this is based on the attitude mentality of pursuing the optimal solution for every occasion.

From this perspective, I have chosen for this particular structure to stray outside standard specifications to achieve an almost imperceptible level of misalignment, which contravenes the principle of pursuing the optimal solution. When considering the recent rise in construction costs, the rational decision for an architect would be to correct the structure at the planning stage. However, looking at this project from a different angle will present you with a completely different world.

“Readymade” is a concept advocated by Marcel Duchamp, also known as a founder of contemporary art, through his artwork such as “Fountain” and “L.H.O.O.Q.” The concept presents new value in a target item by replacing the context for it with something completely different.

The structure in this case is remarkably simple, with only a roof, main building, beams and pillars, and could easily have been constructed at a lower cost if the plan had been optimized. However, I renounced this choice and took it upon myself to build some misalignments into the design, just like Duchamp’s “R. Mutt 1917” signature on the “Fountain” urinal or the facial hair etched on Mona Lisa in “L.H.O.O.Q.” I thought that doing so could strip any architectural connotations from this structure and give it value that deviates from architecture.

Furthermore, our client, Mitsumasa Kadota, discovered further value and gave it to the structure from an artist’s perspective. Just like the “Readymade” concept.


「Two Angles」

Having a clear “declaration of intent”—such as stating that one is of a minority, or that one has a racial issue—is beginning to play a more significant role in today’s society. Those who are able to make a powerful plea and gain understanding from people are accepted and start taking the initiative to change fundamentals of what matters.

What happens to those who are not as eloquent? What happens to those with invisible pasts and reasons that are difficult to understand? I wonder how many people around the world can distinguish between a nearly black, gray color with just a speck of white in it? People who have been victims of ridicule and bullying due to this “something” that differs from others, “something” which is so subtle that even they do not notice, may be suffering from this difference in color that no one can see.

This March, I launched a company and was able to obtain financing for it. I asked Kunihiko Matsuba, an architect of my generation, to add a carport to my house, but something interesting happened. When a contractor made an estimate based on Mr. Matsuba’s design, the cost was nearly double what was expected. Mr. Matsuba’s design did not use any special materials; in fact, it was a rather stoic and lean design that matches the existing parking space. Naturally, I did not agree with the price and made an inquiry to the contractor, to which I received the following unexpected reply:

“Mr. Matsuba’s blueprints are all misaligned by one or two degrees. This means that everything needs to be done by hand by craftsmen. But there are many ways to lower the price if ready-made products are used.”

I was almost shaking with emotion when I heard these words.

Naturally, ready-made products that can be aligned at ninety degrees can be offered at lower prices because they are easier to duplicate. Also, we can easily imagine that specifications and construction of special angles that are clearly visible would be costly. However, a slight misalignment that is almost imperceivable calls for special effort, friction, and inconspicuous energy. The same could be said about humans and society. Those who cannot speak out or make themselves understood may be tortured by the slight misalignment of one or two degrees, and because this misalignment and difference is not clearly noticeable, the suffering tends to be greater.

I believe there are so many feelings that we have not yet been able to share, and this is a major cause of actions such as intolerance and slander in our present world. I did not expect to come across a visualization of this dilemma, which still eludes us, within the economy.

I think that on this occasion, Mr. Matsuba has transcended the scope of architecture and created a great piece of work that has the potential to raise new perspectives on forthcoming social issues. I am the luckiest man on earth to be able to live with Mr. Matsuba’s masterpiece right in front of me.

Mitsumasa Kadota, November 2022