This apartment renovation by the Japanese firm Masatoshi Hirai Architects has been built around the needs of a family. The client provided Hirai with a brief that outlined a focus on family life, and creating shared spaces.
The apartment block is set near a motorway in Tokyo and was originally built in the 1970’s. Since its creation its undergone one redesign, which dated back to the 1990’s. Given the bustling pace of Tokyo it’s no surprise that the owners wanted an inward-looking home that was free from distractions of the city.
The redesign is quite minimalist in its execution. The walls and ceilings – for the most part – have been finished white. While the floors and furniture are composed of light wood. In some areas, like the kitchen, they’ve left the concrete of the ceiling unfinished.
At 1,011 square feet (94 square meters) it’s quite a large unit. However the division of the spaces is considerably different from most western homes; there’s a real focus on creating shared living spaces that flow into one another. The right hand side of the property contains the kitchen/dining room and leads out to a substantial terrace.
To the left of the kitchen, there’s a raised living area which joints onto the bedroom (shared by children and adults alike). A second, smaller living room/bathroom is found at the bottom left-hand end of the property. The bathroom and living room seem to only be divided by a curtain.
The clothes closet can be found outside of the bedroom and is used to create a small corridor between the two ends of the home. From the designer: “This house is like a whole living room but slightly divided into various environments to support each member of the family to behave in his/her own way.”
For more Japanese homes check out Gandare House, which is set on a narrow strip of land in Tokyo. Or, House J, a contemporary apartment renovation for a young family. See all Japanese houses.
Photos: Takumi Ota