This gleaming silver structure in Gunma, Japan appears as a singular space, but actually houses separate commercial and residential spaces. Designed by Ikimono Architects, the structure first appears to be a highly stylized warehouse with its rectangular shape and corrugated walls. But upon closer inspection, the “Airy House” is home to a flowing interior highlighted by impossibly high ceilings and an indoor courtyard garden.
Meeting at a perpendicular angle, the two parts of Airy House are a private residence and a café. Two large, garage type doors face each other, and can be opened to merge the outside with in. Ikimono has also created an internal garden, with a large palm tree taking residence just beyond the large doors. Café tables are set about the open cube, and the feeling is a single, continuos space, whether one is sitting inside or out.
Meeting at the main café area is the bi-level second section. The ground floor houses the café’s storage, kitchen area and public bathrooms. A staircase transitions from public to private, bringing one to a sky-lit second floor apartment. The dwelling coincides with the open-air idea of the café unit, but attacks it in an entirely different way. The apartment is divided into the standard areas, including a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. But rather than being separated by walls, Ikimono sectioned off the areas by using various materials to differentiate from each zone.
Polished wooden planks wrap around floor to walls to ceiling in the bedroom area, which then meet square grey tiling for the bathroom area. The open plan updates the standard “railroad” apartment design, creating a unique corridor-like residence, while utilizing natural lighting to keep it open and airy.
Via Design Boom