Japanese firm Domino Architects has renovated an apartment in Tokyo by installing several wooden boxy volumes. The flat is located in a developing district around Tokyo and was designed for a young family with a two-year-old child. Considering the change of lifestyle due to child’s growth within a limited floor space, Domino installed corners, blind spots and niches with boxy volumes in order to enrich a variety of space.

No new walls were installed. The boxy volumes which contain storage and bathroom are partitioning the room loosely and fluidly into areas. The volumes are layouted off the grid and the fluidity of space can be controlled flexibly by the sliding doors between volumes.


They used a variety of textures and materials in tangible areas to give a rich, tactile sensation to the experience of the space. These including lauan woods, smooth plastics, motars and rough concrete blocks. While the main volumes and floor are finished by natural wooden material, they used vivid-colored plastic boards to partially cover the doors and shelves.


Domino characterized each small areas with its representative colors and tried to lead the image of space as a series of small impressive scenes. As a background of those wooden volumes, they painted the concrete walls into different colors according to the activities. Brighter color is used for the public, living area while darker color is used for the private, resting area.

They also painted the exposed ceiling white and remained the rough pattern of forms and fixtures in order to show a subtle contrast between existing elements and new elements into the space.

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all images © Gottingham