by SHIMPEI ODA ARCHITECT’S OFFICE

The tiny Japanese home full of space and light

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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The 1920s was a period of great change. Post WWI, Japan was in a state of flux – leaning towards a more liberal and democratic way of life. Known as the Taishō period, this era was dominated by an increase in construction, and an altered landscape throughout the country. Many homes were built, and today we'll check out one that has been renovated by the team at Shimpei Oda Architect’s Office. Truly a unique and intriguing dwelling this property is sure to impress!

Originally a dark and somewhat cramped abode, the house has been given a new lease on life and a fresh start. Surrounded by row houses, and with a frontage of only 4.1 metres, we’re eager to see what the architects have come up with.

Want to take a look for yourself? Let’s head inside and check it out…

The revised frontage and façade

The new façade has been totally refurbished to offer a chic and modern appearance. Originally dark and in need of a little love, the architects have worked tirelessly to preserve the original shape and beauty of the structure, while still imparting much needed contemporary aesthetics.

A light timber door with a long handle works well alongside the huge square window, and dark black frames offer an insight into the studio within. Inviting and alluring, this definitely improves upon the original exterior.

An open gallery-esque space

Inside the front room we see that the window can actually be partially opened up and offers an individual entry to the studio area. This gallery-esque space is ideal for hanging artwork and provides a multi-purpose room that can be utilised for a range of applications.

The interior is vastly different when compared to the streetscape beyond, with crisp white walls and ceiling, along with polished concrete flooring. In contrast the exterior is rustic and traditional, with architectural structures that feel organically shabby in their shape and form.

Simplicity and style

Unquestionably our favourite room in this sleek abode, the renovated kitchen and dining offers a sense of unique simplicity. The furniture is elegant and refined, boasting light timber tones that coordinate beautifully against the bright white walls. 

L-shaped and practical, the kitchen includes all essential modern amenities, paired with a large square trestle table that offers additional prep space and a place to eat or work.

Bright, light-filled interior spaces

What was once a dark and uninviting residence now boasts bright interior spaces and abundant natural sunlight. Peering at the room from the kitchen side of the space, we see that large sliding doors have been employed to keep the large living space luminous.

Facing out onto a rustic masonry wall, the view is surprisingly eye-catching. In keeping with the minimalist aesthetic, this raw architectural feature works well against the white interior, which is clean, neat and refined.

Retaining original features

Original features have been retained throughout the home, and this is easily noted in the bedroom, were exposed timber beams sit eye-catchingly against the crisp white walls. The juxtaposition of contemporary beech timber elements and rustic original features is startling, adding to the impressiveness of this home’s refurbishment.

Space-saving measures to keep the home accessible

As this dwelling is rather small, space-saving measures needed to be implemented wherever possible. Within this room we see that sliding doors have replaced the traditional hinged openings, ensuring each area is maximised and accessible.

Minimal nooks for a tranquil ambience

Small nooks are relaxing and warm, with sunlight that streams inside and offers a sense of tranquillity and peace. Calm, enjoyable and dynamic, each room feels considered and curated to offer the occupants an environment that increases their domestic delight and harmony.

Did you enjoy touring this renovated 20s home? If you liked that and want more, we recommend you check out: The 90m² flat with everything a young family needs

What did you think - do you like the home's refreshed aesthetic? Let us know below!
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