The project consists of a renovation of a two story apartment and the creation of a restaurant on the first floor. Located in a quiet street, the building is accessible by a three minutes walk from the dynamic Kinshicho station, suburb of Tokyo.
The design of the restaurant responds to increase its visibility during opening hours, and to offer a comfortable inner space despite a narrow site. The entrance has been shaped in a triangle to welcome people and allow the take-out’s opening window to surpass the public area, so that the store becomes visible from the street. The inside configuration is structured by two doors sliding on a diagonal. They allow a separation needed between kitchen and the guest’s area since the 1st floor remains crossable by the two airbnb's residents situated on the 2nd and 3rd floor. The table counter can rotate to give more space in the kitchen during the service. Informal seats are placed on the back wall for a short coffee or passing residents.
The first approach for the apartment was to determine a gradation in the uses, from the most active ones to the calmer. Thus, an “action” block has been placed in the middle of the 4th floor including equipment such as the kitchen workshop or the bath/shower room. Also, it was important to bring natural light to the whole storey, so the lateral freed spaces are used to bring this transparency from a corridor and the bathroom’s glass window and door.
From the existing spiral staircase, the gradation continues on the 5th floor with a “free space” designed to accustom personal needs such as a freelance studio, a yoga room or other modern activities. Then, a “tetris” block in the middle gathers the stairs to access the rooftop, a desk for two and some storage. This offers a place for concentration and a transition to the bedroom.
The 6th floor is dedicated to the outdoor activities, and benefits from a large view of the district. The laundry room facilitates the outside drying, common usage in Japan. An outside shower can be used to refresh during hot summers and the terrace fringes a space kept as it is, dedicated for growing plants which frame the urban scenery.