This is a renovation project of an apartment in Chiba city.

There is a 20 year old building in a well designed newly developed residential area. Though its external appearance was very challenging, once enter into the inside, its composition of spaces was normal nLDK (Japanese system of room arrangement from 195) with new building materials. It needed to renovate for a young couple of new generation.

At first, there are three characteristics of new plan. The apartment situated the ground floor and There is a park at west side with nice view. Second, It possible to get the light from two direction because the building of apartment has a courtyard. And third, needless to say, there is no more area to wider the floor space. In addition, the husband is very sociable, on the other hand, the wife prefer family time.

It was used two idea for composing of spaces from those conditions and essential characteristics of building apartment.

1. Privacy. The wife prefer spending time with her family and is sensitive to noise. Looking over the apartment building, there is just a 150-200mm wall between apartments where people are living. When you put your bed beside that wall, your neighbor put his bed the other side of wall by chance, you spend 6-8 hours very next to unrelated person.

Easing that invisible psychological stress from the density, Making 30 square meter apartment inside of original 70 square meter apartment. That apartment inside of apartment makes the other remaining 40 square meter to a buffer space against. As a result, the outside space include the park, the living room and the terrace that friends or guests let in, the husband work space, the kitchen and the bathroom mainly used by family, the bed room that is not shown others in, and there is the courtyard where neighbors only pass through. Those different characterized spaces are continuously connected. Though it is very psychological effect, in contrast to the previous composition, it could be created the space away from the walls.

2. It is the difference in level. The floor of apartment inside of apartment is lifted up 200mm above the original floor level. It makes a clear distinction between those spaces. The floor extending to the west side of windows leads the dining space connected to the park. And this little raised floor makes park as if it was the personal garden of the inhabitants when the people seat at dining chairs. Moreover, it would be the bench between the living space. It maximize the limited space.

Besides using materials for emphasizing the differences between those two spaces.

In spite of not adopting new building materials as possible, using the materials that is able to be aged. The tiles that are used at the kitchen wall is developed for this renovation by Japanese traditional roof tile. We consider that using the materials able to be aged with family, finger prints, suntanned, repainted, polished, whether it is possible to make dwelling more value.

Photos by Sayaka Mochizuki