Set in a residential district of Akasaka in Tokyo, this small apartment has been renovated by local firm, Front Office Tokyo. The apartment block was originally built in the 1970’s and the architects were brought on board to help create a more functional space.
For those of you that hate exposed concrete, well, you’ll probably hate this redesign too. The “unfinished” style continues to hold sway in Japan and this apartment embraces it. The rough concrete ceilings have been exposed and painted white in some areas, while metal ducting, and light cabling is also on display.
However, the architect’s main focus was on opening up the 538 square foot (50 square meter) property. 1970’s Tokyo apartment blocks are known for having small, poky living spaces and low ceilings. They removed all partition walls to create a single open plan space (apart from the bathroom) and got rid of the false ceiling.
Now, the different rooms are defined by a series of multi-functional boxes and sliding doors. The front of the property is occupied by living and dining room. This leads directly into the kitchen, which is separated from the bedroom by an inset storage cabinet.
The bedroom and the kitchen can be closed off from the living room through the use of three large sliding doors. The very back of the unit is taken up by the bathroom and entry way. The bathroom exemplifies the unfinished style, with what looks to be unpainted render on the walls.
Simple materials are used throughout and the interior decor is intended to place focus on the inhabitants life, as opposed to their stuff: “The design is intended to act as a background to the clients life and so we chose to keep it simple. As they live in the home the character will come from the daily life of the owners.”
For more Japanese houses and apartments check out the New Kyoto Townhouse by Alphaville Architects. Or, Opera, a small apartment based in the bustling city of Tokyo. See all Japanese houses.
Photos: Toshiyuki Yano