Muji has teamed up with real estate developer Mitsubishi Chiso [Mitsubishi Estate] to create Muji Village, a three-building condominium complex in Chiba Prefecture, the New Jersey of Tokyo. Or maybe it’s the Westchester of Tokyo, and Saitama’s New Jersey, but still. [here’s a Google map of the site. It’s near Maebara and Tsudanuma stations, and it used to contain a six-building municipal housing complex from 1960.]
The concept for Muji Village boils down to three points: Green, Plain, and Community. Green means trees, not ecologically sustainable. Plain means “white, 100 year concrete” and design that won’t go out of fashion [sic], plus flexibility to remodel as your family configuration changes, and Community means common spaces like libraries and a couple of gardens.
Frankly, even though Muji is pervasive to the point of saturation in Japan, I’d still suspect that Muji Village is being built on the premise of a particularly brand-centric “feel good lifestyle,” and that it is intended to attract like-minded Muji aficionados–Mujillas in this case, not Mujillahs.
Last month at the flagship store in Yurakucho, Muji Atelier exhibited poster-sized Muji Village floorplans in a grid of stacks on the floor. They were meant for you to roll up and take home, so you could discuss them at your kitchen table and decide the layout you preferred best. Such presentation, such collaborative spirit, such freedom of choice! It’s as if Muji Village’s exclusive broker was Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
I can’t find any info on prices, or photos, or renderings. And yet the Muji Village website says they are currently looking, not for buyers, but for “members.”
update: Aha, here it is. 9 stories, 152 units, Sounds like Mitsubishi came with an existing project. Muji’s doing the exterior, unit interiors, and common areas, including the Community “living rooms.” Sales and model room debut in late January for Feb. 2010 occupancy. [via nikkei business preess, sept. 08, before the real estate development world ended]
Muji Village info page and exhibition [muji.net]
Muji Village website [muji-village.com]