Renovated by Japanese architecture firm Furuya Design, this small three storey house is home to a cafe, store and an apartment. Located in the district of Ota in Tokyo, the house is set on the boundary between the town and a residential neighborhood.
Completed in 2015, the project area is composed of a corner plot with 614 square feet of land (57 square meters). The multifunctional building has a total floor area of 1,539 square feet (143 square meters) over its three levels.
The first floor contains the cafe/store, while the third floor features a small apartment. The level in-between the two is the most interesting. The second floor acts as a sheltered balcony and is open almost entirely to its surroundings, bar the central compartment that’s used to house the staircase.
The balcony reveals the buildings timber frame structure, with 10 exposed posts providing support for the upper level. It also features horizontal metal cables that provide security without detracting from the openness of the balcony.
The apartment makes use of a sleeping loft that’s accessed by a ladder. Based on the available pictures (of which there are few), it seems to have an open plan interior, both between adjacent living areas and the loft above. Unlike the balcony below, the apartment is much more private and enclosed with relatively small windows.
Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a floor plan available – it would definitely help when trying to make sense of the different spaces and levels. This approach to combining workplaces and home seems to be popular in Japan with other similar projects like this Yamate Street House, or this cafe/gallery/home by architects Flat House.