A Japanese Inner Balcony

8 years ago
2 minutes

A Japanese architect has transformed and extended a 36sqm studio apartment in Osaka, Japan.

Shimpei Oda, an architect renowned for his love for light, transformation and simplicity, turned his small balcony attached to a living room, into part of the apartment.

Extending the living room to encompass the balcony increased the size of his apartment’s living areas, yet still kept the light which the balcony attracted.

“For a typical rental apartment, it is common to perform maintenance such as changing wallpaper and renewing equipment, every time a new resident moves in, said Shimpei Oda, “however there has been no tradition in renovating a space itself.”

By creating this inner-balcony, Oda was able to use this part of the living area to more use than the small balcony.

To still signify that the ‘inner balcony’ is separate, Oda has not used the same pale floorboards that are prevalent in the living room, but rather used a different texture and platform all together.

“Various existing textures are painted in white, Oda continued, “this abstracted interior gives prominence to possessions of a resident that change over time. To make the next restoration easier, it was also important to prepare sustainable systems with maintainable materials.”

The ‘inner balcony’ offers the feeling of more space, but it can still be used to grow plants, place your bicycle, or even dry clothes. Using mirrors and windows, the light beaming into the apartment is unobstructed, and almost every part of the living area receives sunlight.

Shimpei Oda is renowned for his obsession with light and transforming dark places in to the bright, as well as using traditional Japanese techniques to present his ideas.

In this apartment, Oda has followed on with the unusual installation of ‘gaishi’ – a Japanese method, beloniging to the 1960s, that covers electrical wiring with material, rather than plastic. This apartment lacked the ability to conceal the wiring, so instead of changing his idea, Oda adapted this now traditional technique, into the modern home.