Located in the quiet residential district of Naka-Meguro in Tokyo, the small 43.82 square-metre apartment was refurbished on a very tight budget.
Although the architects originally wanted to change the layout to follow the typical format of a Japanese apartment – where the kitchen and bathroom are located on the north side facing the common corridor – budget restrictions meant they had to work with the existing plan.
A bedroom located on the north side faces the common corridor, the kitchen and bathroom are located in the middle, and a living room sits to the south.
Surfaces, such as the concrete beams and plywood walls are left unfinished and exposed. Even the switch and socket covers are made from clear acrylic, so as to reveal the wires and fixings in the wall.
To free the apartment of its clutter, Daisuke Motogi Architecture created a dedicated indigo fabric storage wall that wraps a timber structure in the centre of the apartment. A bathroom and a small desk space can be found inside the fabric-wrapped structure. Objects can be stored
A bathroom and a small desk space can be found inside the fabric-wrapped structure. Objects can be stored in the walls inside a series of pockets secured by white zips and poppers.
"The pockets are not completely functional as storage," said Daisuke Motogi, "but such incompleteness may allow for co-existence of various things or any situations. The pocket wall becomes a versatile receptacle where miscellaneous things from everyday life are accepted as they are and not as disturbing "noises"."
"Clearing all the things completely is not the only way to make the table look tidy. One can rearrange miscellaneous existing things on the grid layout to make it look beautiful." he continued.
"It is also possible to design a background that embraces co-existence of miscellaneous daily things. I would like to explore a way to design more generously, other than just clearing out unnecessary things or restricting uncontrollable things."
Other unusual low-cost storage solutions in the apartment include a line of scouring sponges that are fixed to the bathroom wall so that toothbrushes and bathroom products can be held in-between them.
In Sofia, Bulgarian office Another Studio took a similar approach – and removed walls from an apartment and replaced them with customised shelving systems in order to create more storage space.
Photography is by Kenta Hasegawa