Skyroom by Naruse
Inokuma Architects

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Partitions that don't reach the ceiling create the illusion of a larger space in this renovated flat in Japan by Naruse Inokuma Architects (+ slideshow).

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

Naruse Inokuma Architects completed the single-storey renovation in an older building and retained the existing ceiling beams, painting sections of the ceilings in five subtly different pale colours.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

The arrangement of colours doesn't match up with the positions of the wooden divisions, so the individual rooms feel more spacious because the edge of the ceiling extends beyond the wall and can't be seen.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

"We kept all the partitions at a height below the beams to create connected spaces while maintaining a sense of privacy," said the architects.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

"The colours emphasise an expanse of space beyond the separate rooms and alter their expression dramatically with the smallest change in lighting," they added.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

The compact flat includes two bedrooms separated by an atelier, plus a large combined living and dining room. The kitchen and bathroom are separated by the main entrance hall.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

Wooden furniture and floorboards also feature throughout the flat.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

Other projects by Naruse Inokuma on Dezeen include a shared occupancy house with communal areas for cooking, eating and relaxing and a renovated apartment with unfinished plywood and cement smeared over concrete.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

See more projects by Naruse Inokuma »
See more Japanese houses »

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

Photography is by Masao Nishikawa.

Here's a short description from the architects:


Skyroom

This is a renovation project for an old, 80m2 flat. Here, creating an expanse of space within a small, limited area was our biggest theme.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects

We kept all the partitions at a height below the beams to create connected spaces while maintaining a sense of privacy. The ceiling, crisscrossed with beams, was painted in five kinds of pale colours.

Skyroom by Naruse Inokuma Architects
Floor plan - click for larger image

Slightly shifted from the layout of the rooms, these colours emphasise an expanse of space beyond the separate rooms and alter their expression dramatically with the smallest change in lighting. Although they compose the small interiors of an 80m2 space, these rooms feel as though they embrace the wide-open sky that changes in expression every moment of every day.

  • Dongha Jung

    I think it’s the emptiness that makes the flat look larger, not the low partitions.

  • Inmenso

    “Partitions that don’t reach the ceiling create the illusion of a larger space”. Wow, that is so revolutionary. Do they know about this in architecture schools?

  • Ed

    Don’t think anybody is saying it is revolutionary. They are just stating the devices they used in this particular design.

    So perhaps you could spend your time considering how they have implemented this technique and how successful you deem their execution as opposed to belittling it ignorantly.

    • Inmenso

      I’m not belittling it. I’m just belittling the fact that they chose to point out the obvious in the description. What will come next? Openings in the wall to illuminate rooms? Columns to support slabs?

  • Z-dog

    No mention of how high the ceilings are but, if you asked me, I’d say the apartment is really, really low. Look at the photos of the desk and where the light switch is positioned on the wall. Also, there is no section or any photo with a full human to scale it off. Nice details and well executed idea but I feel claustrophobic looking at it.