N House, Tokyo by moss.|Takeshi Shima

adding depth to the apartment while making economical use of the space

Project Specs


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Appreciations towards moss. | Takeshi Shima for providing the following description:


This project was a renovation of an atmospheric vintage apartment in the Magome neighborhood of Tokyo. The owners are a married couple working for a furniture maker. We changed the original two-bedroom layout to a light-filled one-bedroom with living room, dining area, and kitchen.

▼室内概览,overview © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


The clients’ requests were simple: good light, a large living room, and minimal use of colors. Working with the limitations of a 55-square-meter apartment, our intention while conceiving this design was to add richness and depth to the space. We focused on the following four elements:

▼开放的起居空间,the open living area © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


室内露台 | Interior Terrace


Our concept for the living room centered on creating the atmosphere of an outdoor “terrace” space inside a metropolitan Tokyo apartment. Up against the limitations of a small floor plan, we took a risk and added a protrusion into the empty space. The interior terrace doesn’t limit the functionality of the room. It opens up the area and adds an enriching “margin” to the room, creating a beneficial sense of distance between people within the space.

▼从起居区域看入口玄关,view of the entrance from the living area © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


进深感 | Compact Depth


Integrating the bedroom, study, and storage spaces into a single room at the core of the apartment, we added depth to the apartment while making economical use of floor space. The design and materials incorporate a sense of “comfortable confinement” similar to a downtown hotel.

▼从走廊看起居区域,view of the living area from the corridor © TOREAL | Koji Fujii

▼具有进深感的室内走廊,the corridor adding depth to the apartment © TOREAL | Koji Fujii

▼走廊拐角处,corner of the corridor © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


水平长窗的魅力 | Horizontal Windows’ Charm


The apartment’s horizontal windows, which are rare in today’s housing complexes, have a unique charm that we wanted to emphasize. We drew in ample natural light and made the room feel more spacious by taking advantage of the windows’ shape and orientation in our new floor plan.

▼水平长窗引入充足光线,the horizontal windows drawing in ample natural light © TOREAL | Koji Fujii

▼细部,details © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


阴影的趣味 | Cherishing Shadows


The new layout gives the feeling of light entering from far back in the space. Creating a corridor that dared to cast shadows emphasized the expansiveness of the living room. The balance of light and shadow adds depth and flexibility to the space.

▼室内光影,the cherishing shadows © TOREAL | Koji Fujii


These four elements were integrated through a minimal approach to colors, which was also in line with the client’s request. The oak flooring is dyed gray. All fixtures are custom-made with gray MDF, and the walls are painted with textured paint from Haymespaint. The design is accented with a dull glow from the window sashes and stainless steel in the kitchen. Exposing the raw skeleton of the apartment could create a cold and unwelcoming atmosphere, but the subtle warmth of gray materials and painted surfaces draws out the richness originally present in the apartment’s bones. The client’s tasteful furniture selection and bold house plants adds power to the spaces. While the apartment’s ambience is undeniably urban, it also invites people to pass their time in the space relaxed and unhurried.

▼材质细部,details of the materials © TOREAL | Koji Fujii

▼平面图,plan © moss. | Takeshi Shima

Location:Tokyo Japan

Design:moss. | Takeshi Shima
Constructor:TATSU Planning
Painting:a.d.p | Yuki Sakata, HandiHouseProject | Shinya Araki
Nuri labo+ | Fuminori Kudo
Furniture:plots inc. 
Switch:Slaptone inc.
Lighting Planning:DESIGN STUDIO pintto | Jun Tarao
Plants:tan | Kaoru Enomoto
Photography:TOREAL | Koji Fujii

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