2019 / Setagaya, Tokyo / House Renovation


To inherit and reinterpret traditional Japanese aesthetics to modernity is our mission. This was the case too, when renovating a 60sqm 3-bedroom floor plan into a single bedroom flat for the resident couple. With limited budget and space, it was our challenge to suggest an efficient way to utilize the given space, while depicting subtle abundance of living with quality and originality.
We built in storage under the L-shaped sofa seats which stretches vastly from the kitchen. The storage amount increased by double compared to similar sized flats. To add a spacious feel despite the low ceiling, we installed background lighting throughout the room, to accentuate the continuity.
Inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay “In Praise of Shadows”, we carefully chose the overall gray tone, so the delicate transition of light could be sensed through the day. This is also a factor to feel the space’s abundance in width, highlighting the existence of household features.
Minimality creates blank space with peaceful tranquility. This essential idea in Japanese aesthetics was symbolically adapted to “tokoita” (board) and the mortar wall which appeared during preconstruction.
In traditional housings, there was a specific area called a “tokonoma”, to exhibit flower vases and scrolls upon a tokoita to celebrate the shifting seasons. Just by installing a board, this modern tokoita is a simple way to evoke Japanese sensuality in modern living.
The mortar wall was repaired to the minimum, letting it exist as it is with similar artistic abstractness to Japanese ink painting.


Year: 2019 / Location: Setagaya, Tokyo / Category: House Renovation / Total Floor Area: 60.50㎡ / Photographer: Satoshi Asakawa / Collaboration: VOICE