Tokyo architecture studio Sinato refurbishes this 64 sqm apartment in Yokohama, Japan, adding a wall in the centre that incorporates shelves, a seating area and storage space, and encloses the master bedroom and a guest bedroom behind it. By placing the bedroom and walk-in closet on either side of the existing load-bearing wall, the two windows facing the southwest are connected by forming an L-shaped open space with the goal of creating an internal environment that allows for the free flow of light and air throughout the entire home.
The ‘open space’ also includes the kitchen and wash basin and contrary to typical placement of the wash basin in the windowless bath area, by placing it in this open space one can feel the fresh outside air as well as a connection to the rest of the family inside.
The L-shaped wood wall that serves as the partition between the open space and the sleeping area is a large piece of furniture where you can hang a picture, store books, sit or even roll around on, allowing it to become a symbol uniting the house.
This space, called ‘inner terrace’, is a wide and bright shared area which becomes a gentle buffer between spaces, as on the south side of the apartment, where it links both the open space and the sleeping area.
Rather than create a unit completely through the articulation of living functions, in order to allow the occupants to live with greater freedom within a very limited floor area, architects thought it was much more effective to connect and overlay the various places, creating the whole of the dwelling.
all images © TOSHIYUKI YANO