Proving that space is always relative, architecture studio Sinato was able to add enough room to a small Japanese apartment to make it fit a family of three, while creating a cozy mezzanine reading room - simply by raising the ceiling level and added a wooden platform to the Fujigaoka T apartment in Kanagawa.
How did they do it? The Tokyo-based architecture firm studied the structural configuration of the space and realized the suspended ceiling was positioned much lower than the actual slab. So they raised part of it from 9.2 feet to 12.5 feet and created a large enough space for people to sit.
In an ingenious twist of design, supporting posts of the mezzanine act as framework for the newly built walls that separate the bedrooms from the study space on the lower level.The mezzanine is accessed via a wooden ladder in the hallway, and the space gets lots of natural light through a gap in the floor and the supporting walls. Part of the ceiling lifts up at the end of the hallway to add a spacious feeling to the kitchen and living area.
“We are hoping that the space connected by this strange shaped plan and section can function as an environment that accepts the various distances of the family’s everyday life,” Sinato said in a statement. With a new total area of 223 square feet, we think that’s certainly the case.
Images by Toshiyuki Yano