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Two people who deepened their friendship through architecture
Getting chosen for a design harnessing their individual specialties!

Kenta Hirayama / Takeshi Goshozono

“Her students change from year to year/Meet and part with youth's delight/Yet all alike we seek to share/These ideals and their light.” This is one verse from the Waseda University alma mater.

The words apply perfectly to Kenta Hirayama and Takeshi Goshozono. Together, they exhibited a design at the 1st TamaHome Design Competition sponsored by TamaHome, a contest to propose a “new basic for dwellings.” Amazingly, their design was chosen out of 472 submitted, including designs by major design offices and individual architects.

Hirayama has enjoyed drawing since he was a child and, when drawing insects, even precisely duplicated their joints. For this kind of creative act, one could say that the biggest pieces one could make would be architectural drawings. Hirayama says that if you study architecture, you can harness those skills in any creative act. Conversely, Goshozono spent his days addicted to basketball until he was in junior high school. He came to be interested in the world of architecture after being captivated by the wondrous construction of the 2nd Gymnasium of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium he visited for a game. The two chose to enter Waseda, a school which has turned out many famous architects.

The public presentation of their designs by the eight groups which made it to the final round. All of the eight designs, selected from a total of 472 submitted, were superb.

The two laughed while looking back on their impressions of each other when they first met in the Department of Architecture in the School of Creative Science and Engineering. “Goshozono was shockingly bad at sketching!” says Hirayama; “I was really flustered when I saw Hirayama’s sketches! I thought I wouldn’t be able to graduate,” says Goshozono. During summer vacation of their first year, they went to look at architecture on the outskirts of Kanto for an assignment and hit it off, creating a deep friendship. However, in their fourth year, students are assigned to laboratories to further increase the depth of specialized learning in the Department of Architecture and they went down separate paths; Hirayama chose architectural design and planning, while Goshozono chose architectural systems, which mainly focuses on mechanics. Said Goshozono, “I knew I couldn’t beat Hirayama in design. Of course, I also liked mechanics, but I chose it after considering in which field I could be best in.”

Even though the two were now members of different laboratories, they continued their friendship. When they learned of the TamaHome competition, they decided to take on the challenge of creating a collaborative design, a project they had not been able to make work up to that point because their schedules never seemed to line up; they quickly began working. Hirayama polished idea for the competition and planned the overall design. Goshozono offered structural advice while scrutinizing the ultimate feasibility. What they achieved was a design they called at the “Home for a Long Distance Commuter Built at the Foot of Mount Tsukuba.” They submitted photographs of a model and concept art based on Hirayama’s design alongside blueprints drawn by Goshozono. Their design was chosen for the synthesis achieved by the pair. One judge commented, “It’s a well-rounded design representative of Waseda which uses their individual specializations.” The design truly is a fusion of Hirayama and Goshozono’s specialties.

Hirayama has received a tentative offer for employment at a design office and has a dream of one day being independent and creating his own home. Goshozono is scheduled to enter a general contracting company and speaks of his goal of making interesting architecture even more interesting. With these aspirations in their hearts, both will become working adults next spring, but they also share a dream. That dream is to work together on a design once more. Although they met at Waseda and will now part and go their separate ways, like the school alma mater, it is hoped they will meet again under shared ideals and create a new design.

Their winning design. They proposed a dwelling for long-distance commuters who are often away from their home with an exterior that would create connections with others.

Collecting experimental data and discovering structural problems.

The main temple building at the Senso-ji. Experiencing the appeal of famous architecture directly by visiting it in person.


Kenta Hirayama(right)
Second Year Graduate, School of Science and Engineering Master’s Program

Originally from Ibaraki, Kenta Hirayama (right) graduated from Tsuchiura Nihon University High School. His hobby is fishing and he enjoys going out to rivers and the ocean.

Takeshi Goshozono(left)
Second Year Graduate, School of Science and Engineering Master’s Program

Originally from Tokyo, Takeshi Goshozono graduated from Seikei Senior High School. Some of his many hobbies include basketball and futsal, though he’s currently particularly interested in bicycling.