FLAT S / House full of light

japanse style bathroom
Location:Nagoya, Japan

Flat S is a 30 year-old second-hand typical 67.7m2 3LDK condominium located in Nagoya city. This renovation was carried out for a couple in their 50s with very simple requests – space, light and natural materials.

Originally a dark and claustrophobic corridor, until the wall on one side was refitted with semi-transparent white acrylic. Natural light can now travel through the adjacent room and into the corridor, creating an impression of space and brightness. The door separating the living room and the corridor was refitted with a slide door, which allows both areas to become a single space, ensuring not only spaciousness but also ventilation. Both spaces can be moved between without disruption, which gives the flat a sense of constancy and unity. A circle of semi-transparent white acrylic was also fitted into the partition door, so light and shadows can enter the corridor from the living room and maintain this constancy between spaces, even when the door is closed. This luminous, diaphanous portal maintains privacy whilst giving hints of the occupants beyond, accents and gives life to an otherwise ordinary surface.

We really liked the idea of a barrier-free space, so we adopted large sliding doors around the utilities. Similar to the joining of the living room and the corridor, the bedrooms are joined with the utilities, and can be travelled between uniterrupted. Open the door, and it becomes a feature of the interior. Close it, and it becomes a private, functional space. We also wanted to challenge the idea that bathrooms are small, narrow, dark spaces, so a large mirror was placed above the washbasin to create an illusion of depth. Variation was added to the color scheme by adding mosaic tiles to the kitchen floor and wall.

Storage was inconspicuously fitted along the full length of the living area, providing ample space without disturbing the composition of the room. Soft, indirect lighting is used in key areas to create a cool and calm atmosphere. Flooring consists of solid oak tiles, and paint with humidity control and antibacterial effects are used on the walls. Every fixture and piece of furniture is bespoke made from natural wood, giving the space originality and individuality. Using oil stain, the natural grain of the wood were drawn out and intensified, emphasising the identity and uniqueness of each custom-made part. Warmth and tranquility through soft lighting, natural colours and materials. Boldness and strength through contrasting light and shadow, verticality and texture.


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