Architects have purchased a 33-year-old condominium in Tokyo with views of the Koto Canal in three directions and transformed it into a one-room unit that integrates work and residence. The plan was to overlap the living and working areas instead of separating them, resulting in nine fittings that were treated as a canvas for a “fusuma (sliding door)” painting.
The majority of the room functions as an office, so elements that would give the impression of daily life were placed on the side of the wall without a window. The nine fittings act as practical doors separating public and private spaces while also serving as a horizontal screen that traverses the room as a whole.
The architects drew inspiration from Japanese barrier painting culture to create a sense of depth within the concrete box of a condominium room. They used a whale as a motif for the painting, representing a scale far removed from human living space and its connection with the canal.
The artist, Saki Ikeda, designed the fusuma using a meticulous drawing pen technique, which was enlarged and printed directly on lauan plywood using a large-scale printer. The rough grain of the lauan was used to express the waves.
The relationship between the canal outside the window and the whale in the fusuma painting creates a sense of depth and imagination that mimics the concept of a sub-temple of Zen.
The canvas of the fusuma was made to be replaceable by the resident, allowing for the experience of a different depth of space by replacing the canvas part. This approach is similar to how a sliding door of Shikunshien can transform the atmosphere of a space completely by being replaced with a noren-do in the summer.
Overall, this renovation project successfully integrated work and residence into one room while creating a sense of depth and imagination through the fusion of art and architecture.
Area : 77 m²
Year : 2017
Photographs: Haruki Kodama
Construction : M-CUBE