Switch by Yuko Shibata


Switch by Yuko Shibata

Japanese designer Yuko Shibata created separate living and working areas in this Tokyo apartment by installing two mobile walls. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

Called Switch, the project features one partition that slides out over the dining table to create a meeting room on one side and library on the other.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

The second bookcase pivots round at the end of the day to reveal a bedroom.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

Photographs are by Ryohei Hamda.

Here are some more details from Shibata:


This is the interior design of a single home office.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

This room was previously used as a residential space.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

It was the owner’ s intent that the floor plan could be changed to completely separate the living and office sections.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

This request was rendered impossible, due to the original structure being of box frame type reinforced concrete construction, with almost all walls acting as supporting building frames.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

The addition of two bookshelves, each with a large door, allowed us to create a space with the ability to adapt from home to office or from office to home, while leaving the original floor plan intact.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

The first bookshelf was added to the meeting room. By moving the large door, the meeting space can be divided in two.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

The space on the side of the bookshelf becomes a library. The large door also includes an opening in order to allow it to pass over the dining table.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

In this way, the table is shared between the library and meeting spaces.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

The second addition was in the bed room.The opening in the bookshelf creates a passage making it possible to approach the shelf from the office, without passing through the bedroom.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

When the door is opened, it creates a partition between the the bedroom and study, and also has the effect of changing the space to a library.

Switch by Yuko Shibata

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Principal Use: home and office
Category: Renovation

See also:


Interior Living Unit
by Andrew Kline
Les FLKS by
REK bookcase by
Reinier de Jong

Dezeen Book of Ideas out now!

Yuko Shibata is included in our book, Dezeen Book of Ideas. Buy it now for just £12.

Posted on Saturday October 9th 2010 at 6:53 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • slow


  • Andy

    The first pic reminds me of the scene in Gilliam's Brazil where Sam Lowry is introduced to his new office at information retrieval, it made me laugh.

  • Its so intelligent! Big congratulation for this project!

  • Felix

    i'm not sure what they've really accomplished here. it looks good and has obviously been designed with care, but couldn't two thick curtains have actually been a better solution? less cost, more of a noise barrier.

  • cathy

    wondering how long could those tracks work for

  • hdxtst

    clever solution for a renovation. indeed, it maximize the former space with new functionality.
    one additional idea to gain flexibility in the timetable if living & working overlap: it would be nice to have an independant access to the living room (without interruptions to any meeting). what do you think?

  • kelly

    clever idea for places like hongkong and singapore.

  • Mehdi

    Genius solution i realy like it

  • band

    a mediocre approach of what gary chang did for his own apartment. interesting

  • What's wrong with exposing the bookshelves?

  • iamkhairi

    if u look at the first pic, u notice that there is a pendant light hanging from the ceiling in the library area. but on the 2nd pic when the wall is slide in, the pendant light seems to be outside of the wall.

    i just want to know how that was possible. do u have to remove the light, then slide the wall out, then fix the light again?

    anyway, clever use of space, well done.

  • dear_reader

    this has been proposed many a time and is totally trivial compared to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg9qnWg9kak

  • Arch Fan

    Even though a few guests commented that this has been done before, it it still a very innovative project. To think of ways to maximize space in such small spaces in crowded cities like in Japan are tricky! Great use of the sliding partition!