John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
This swanky avian domicile can fit up to 78 finch families – and one human voyeur.
Located in the woodlands of Komoro City, Japan, a little more than a two-hour drive northwest of Tokyo, this bustling tower features a sturdy wooden construction, bright ivory-colored walls and plenty of natural light, thanks to the 78 holes in the facade. It's immediately available for move-in to any feathery individual looking to build a nest, although there is no bathing facility on site and the landlord is a real creep, as you'll see in a minute.
Design firm Nendo, which has offices in Milan and Tokyo, designed this unusual dwelling for the grounds of the Momofuku Ando Center, a natural preserve named in honor of the inventor of instant ramen. The apartment is segregated in such a way that a human can climb a ladder to access a cramped room on one side. Then, by looking through a galaxy of peepholes in the wall, that person can spy on the everyday activities of the birds (or hungry squirrels) on the other side. No sticking a finger through the holes, though, as that's asking for a well-deserved peck.
While this bird apartment is not original, it certainly is one of the larger properties on the market. Here are a couple other views:
Photos courtesy of Masaya Yoshimura, Daici Ano and Nendo.