Sayama Flats by Schemata Architecture Office


Schemata Architecture Office of Tokyo have completed the renovation of an apartment block in the suburb of Sayama.

The architects, headed by Jo Nagasaka, partially stripped the flats back to their concrete shell, altering selected elements such as windows, doorways and partitions while leaving some parts such as the kitchen units untouched.

"Sayama Flat is a renovation project of a 29-year-old apartment building, and it was completed January, 2008," explains Nagasaka. "Sayama, the suburb 1 hour from the central of Tokyo by train, is an old residential area. There are a lot of small housings around our site.

"In general, Japanese renovation projects are started from removing every old interior and then redesigned it. However, in this project we started to choose what is necessary and what is not from an existing interior space. Because of remaining some of the elements of the interior, we achieved to design a neutral space that motivates young people to create their own life-style."

Photos are by Takumi Oota. Update 13/02/08: see our new story on 63.02° House by Schemata Architecture Office.

Posted on Tuesday February 12th 2008 at 9:30 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • jed

    incredibly beautiful, i’d live there in a heartbeat although i do like my “stuff” around me.

    [incidentally the link to the office doesn’t work because the coding is slightly wrong – one too many http’s. feel free to edit the comment once it’s fixed]

  • Architecture Nowadays…


  • Bozo

    mmmm mm

  • sayerazif

    l like it.. there’s more quality space rather than filled with over dose designer’s furniture…

  • Andrew S.

    Love the floors, love the walls. Some parts of it I don’t really like, but I think overall I’m digging this project. the juxtaposition between finished and unfinished is great in picture #8.

  • kumakuma

    very nice! that polished floor surface is quite stunning.

  • the frog

    Is this really finished?

  • eyeontheworld

    In exposing the buildings nakedness, its core structure, it’s wiring and pipe work Schemata have successfully managed to reveal our fixation on surface materialism.

  • Morais

    Cool work !!!
    P.S. – Sayama Flat is not just one apartment project but is the all flat bulding renovation project…that you can see in their site (I stayed a little bit confused to see so many diferent type of kitchens in just one flat !!!)

  • J

    Wow! I want to live there.

  • Bonzo

    some really nice moves earlier on – begins to get a bit sticky when it indulges in more flouncy excesses and ironic tomfoolery

  • thats nasty……it doesnt feel like a home but rather like an unfinished pothead home

  • Thumb

    I love the lack of artifice and the attempt to get back to basics. The floor is particularly stunning. But I can’t help but feel this space would become tiring to live in and would never really feel “finished.”

  • JuiceMajor

    This looks stunning. I particularly luv the reflective floor. Does anyone know how it is done?


    Dreadfull, terrible, disgusting.
    What kind of work (?) is that???
    No future architecture, is it?
    This is not a place to live, but to die.

  • mekaratta

    Significant work of contemporary interior design.
    Kawakubo like, but reality. look at the sofa! I really love this

  • Uninterrupted space. Absolutely stunning!

    Lee Klein,
    Fine Artist

  • Eduardo

    Stunning! Beautiful!
    Great sofa! Original! ZEN!

  • Mr. X

    Wow. That certainly is an interesting “renovation.” I hope they don’t really expect any self-respecting human being to pay full price for (at best) half a job.

    “But it’s so minimalist”‘ you might say. So is prison, and we all know how many people are just clamoring to live there (judging by the US prison population, you might think they are). Yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah, it’s edgy. Yeah, it makes for some pretty striking photographs. But, architecture is about more than just making a statement. It’s about more than creating striking images fit for glossy, sexy photographs. It’s about creating an enriching space for human habitation. The space pictured is cold, sterile, void. Nothing about that says “come live here. Come enjoy this space.” At it’s core, the space is fundamentally intended to be occupied. It’s an apartment within an apartment building: a space for living. If it’s intended as a commentary on how sterile housing can be, it’s a good one. The problem is, it seems to promote that coldness as an acceptable environment by recreating it in a renovation that was most importantly an opportunity to improve the quality of an existing space.

    If I lived in this “space” the only thing I would be inspired to do would be to move…or head to the roof: the only acceptable space in the entire building, ironically located outside (judging by these photos).

  • Beautiful

  • mariusz

    lets see how it looks when finished ;))))

  • dadatutu

    I am a young, and I really like to live in this kind of flat! Because it can provoke my creativity when I in the daily life!

  • Would be good to see some pictures of how this looks now – bit of life would do it good.