‘Wan rumu manshon’ refers to a one-room studio apartment in Japan, typically longitudinally shaped, and marketed to a single, first-time homeowner. The owner acquired the property for its potential as a short-term rental for travelers in search of a bespoke respite nestled amid the pulsating heart of Tokyo’s cosmopolitan Ginza District, and the residence was re-imagined as a separate journey, both visceral and visionary.
Upon entry, the inhabitant encounters a series of linear, interconnected spaces, each of which stirs a different emotion -- starting from ‘suspense’ (entry genkan), progressing onto ‘awaken’ (kitchen/dining room) and culminating in ‘comfort’ (bedroom/living).
The space is articulated by a collection of intersecting solids built of contrasting materials (brass vs. slate vs. concrete vs. plastic), each denoting a particular function (sanitation, work surface, structure and storage respectively). Visually, the adjoining spaces are framed by a dynamic Escheresque wall, creating views from either side. The wall is itself an homage to Neo Art Deco.
In the spirit of minimalism, much attention has been paid to optimizing storage so as to achieve the objective of being clutter-free and functional. The east wall is an expansive, full-height closet holding all daily necessities, including food, toiletries, cleaning equipment, entertainment systems, clothing, and furniture (such as tatamis, futons and a flip-down dining table). Similarly, the custom-built minimalist kitchen conceals all except for what is necessary – the stove and the kitchen sink.