Sendagi forms with Yanaka and Nezu the Yanesen district, also known as Shitamachi, a series of neighbourhoods that survived the wars and other disasters in the Metropolis of Tokyo. Sendagi keeps the old morphology of small streets, wooden two-story houses and traditional sanctuaries. Tiny homes have a small piece of garden facing the street where owners use to create an individual green space using plants, trees and pots. Every space is unique and curated. The sum of all the individual gardens configures a diverse but collective green landscape which gives a big identity to the neighbourhood. This research documents and analyses different gardens from Sendagi focusing on the individual and collective greenery aspect. A collage of green individual dreams represents new possibilities of projecting urban green landscape for our cities. A collaboration with Claudia Larcher mixes the traditional Japanese typology with the discovered green treasures.


Alba Balmaseda

Esaú Acosta

Image credits

Alba Balmaseda
Esaú Acosta
Claudia Larcher


Photo by Philip Mak


Born in La Coruña, Spain, in 1985. Graduated as an architect from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2010. Granted with the Erasmus program in La Sapienza University of Rome in 2007. Diploma Thesis rated as outstanding and winner of a National Prize in 2011. Secured a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architectural Projects at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in September 2011. 

Combines the practice of architecture with academic research and teaching. Collaborated actively with Irisarri+Piñera Architects, Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (VIC) and Anupama Kundoo Architects. Developed academic research and teaching at Vastu Shilpa Foundation in Amhedabad, University of Nairobi, Tokyo Wonder Site, University IUAV Venice, KAKD Copenhagen or TU Berlin.

Co-founder of the BarrioBalmaseda studio which ran from 2014 to 2020. Since 2020 she has started a new architectural practice focused on design, teaching and research. Currently Guest Assistant Professor at Stuttgart School of Architecture and Planning and PhD candidate at Roma Tre University Department of Architecture. 


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