A Dark, Industrial-Chic Apartment from Tokyo by Yuichi Yoshida

This modest apartment can be found in Tokyo, Japan. In 2015 it underwent renovation work to turn it comfortable home for the owners. The project was lead by a local firm called Yuichi Yoshida & Associates, who were also responsible for its overall design.


Gakugeidaigaku - Yuichi Yoshida & Associates - Japan - Living Area - Humble Homes

The apartment contains a total of space of 689 square feet (64 square meters). The interior has been finished in a style that’s partly industrial. It features exposed concrete ceilings, with metal wire ducting for lighting and other electrical items.


Gakugeidaigaku - Yuichi Yoshida & Associates - Japan - Living Area 2 - Humble Homes

Aside from the ceiling, the remainder of the property is finished in quite a homey style. There are rugs with light walls and plush furnishings. A lot of the cabinetry has been custom made, with dark wood tones and a textured finish. It has the effect of giving it an aged, worn look.


Gakugeidaigaku - Yuichi Yoshida & Associates - Japan - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The project has been dubbed Gakugeidaigaku by the architects (I have no idea what it translates or stands for), and is roughly split up into two sections. The entry way, bedrooms and bathroom are found to the back, while the living room, dining area and kitchen are to the front.

Gakugeidaigaku - Yuichi Yoshida & Associates - Japan - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The kitchen, which is probably my favorite part of this renovation, makes use of open shelving and a simple linear layout. The open shelving can be found it other parts of the apartment too, like the bedroom clothes/shoes closet. In the bathroom, the atmosphere takes a rather stark turn, as it’s finished in a plain render, or concrete, without any window openings.

Gakugeidaigaku - Yuichi Yoshida & Associates - Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Some elements, like the wood parquet flooring, were restored as opposed to be replaced. To the front of the property there’s a reasonably sized balcony that can be accessed from the living room.

For more small apartments check out this 17th century property that was converted into a stylish small home, with a hidden basement. Or, this Parisian apartment that features a suspended bedroom. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Kenta Hasegawa

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Interesting and appealing floor plan. But this industrial look with all the unpainted metal and the simple concrete may be “honest” but strike me as cold, soulless and sepulchral. These comments are respectfully submitted.

  2. Niall, I agree with you on the starkness. With that cell-block-inspired lighting and bare cement, you’ll probably find that the Japanese ‘Gakugeidaigaku’ translates as ‘Masochist’s retreat’

    Thanks for an interesting one.

  3. Niall, if I may, I would like to comment on Michael’s comment. as follows:
    Delightful bit of humor, there, Michael, that in Japanese “Gakugeidaigaku” probably translates as “Masochist’s Retreat”. I am still laughing about that.
    And as a final comment, I am often struck that some of The Most Exquisite Designs in the world come out of Japan, where Divinity is traditionally seen in Nature and natural manifestations — but unfortunately, some of the most soulless modern designs come out of Japan. Go figure….
    These comments are respectfully submitted.
    S. of Ark..

  4. Gakugeidaigaku is Arts and Sciences College/University. Perhaps this re-do is attached to a Tokyo school; the location and use is unnamed in the architect’s notes. Graduate or postdoc housing comes to mind, especially judging by the shoes in the closet. I find neither the concrete walls nor the conduit ugly. It seems others cannot envision that bit of interior decoration which would complement the distressed woods of the built-ins, brass inlay of the parquet, and grey hues of the walls. Imagination is an oft-scarce human power.

  5. I love Japanese minimalist design and never find it souless or sterile. I would only add my favorite chinese scrolls and ceramics. This apartment is a little dark for me.