Architect Shimpei Oda has renovated a 36-square-metre studio apartment in Osaka, Japan, transforming portion of a balcony into an extension of the living area.
Alternatively of the usual redecoration undertaken in among tenancies, the owner of House in Nishi-honmachi place the spending budget towards modifying the apartment’s layout, hoping to increase its worth.
“For a typical rental apartment, it is widespread to complete servicing this kind of as shifting wallpaper and renewing equipment, every single time a new resident moves in,” Shimpei Oda mentioned in a statement. “Even so there has been no tradition of renovating a area itself.”
To add area to the apartment, Oda reclaimed half of an existing modest balcony, creating an “inner balcony” that echoes the shapes and colors of the exterior.
Even though the rest of apartment has wooden floorboards, the indoor balcony is marked out by a change in floor materials, and an overhead beam that partially separates the region from the rest of the space.
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“It acts as a versatile space the place a resident grows plants, maintains a bike and dries clothes,” said the architect, whose earlier tasks consist of a reworked 1920s Kyoto residence featuring light-filled living spaces and a little gallery.
The wooden floorboards utilised in the rest of the apartment are paired with a wooden bench that can be employed as a seating spot or table.
Pale wooden panels form the exterior of the bathroom, and also mark out the major living area by generating a partly enclosed hallway.
“Various present textures are painted in white,” Oda explained. “This abstracted interior gives prominence to possessions of a resident that modify above time. To make the subsequent restoration less complicated, it was also essential to prepare sustainable techniques with maintainable components.”
An unusual characteristic of the apartment is a series of ceiling-mounted porcelain wiring insulators – known as gaishi – that have been frequently employed in Japan ahead of the 1960s, when electrical wires had been covered in material rather than plastic.
The gaishi used to be installed on ceilings to sustain the distance in between the walls and the wiring. The apartment lacked an overhead cavity to hide wiring, so Oda added gaishi in the conventional way.
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“The old technique is now giving a fresh expression, and performs well as an accent in the area,” he told Dezeen.
“I assume this tiny renovation venture will enrich the sense of dwelling,” he additional.
Indoor balconies have also been added in other Japanese housing projects. Examples include a block of apartments in Tokyo by Crucial Operation, and a Toyota house with 3 sleeping platforms.
Photography is by Yohei Sasakura.