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2007年09月 アーカイブ


the reasons for LIVING


The current phenomenon regarding the use of living rooms in Japanese residences is that they are not being used to fullest, despite being situated in the center of most homes. The reason for this recent trend seems to be because there are fewer opportunities to entertain guests in the living room. In addition, because each family member has his/her own individual room, it is rare for the whole family together in the living room to watch TV. The concept of the "living room" itself was introduced in Japan only half a century ago through post-war democratization and the influx of American culture. Therefore, Japanese people never really grasped the intrinsic meaning of the Western custom of the "living room." Morever, because it is common in Japanese residences for the living room and the dining room to be combined in one room, the living room fails to be of much importance.
However, it is necessary to establish a proper living room space on the underlying premise of having different functions for the dining room which fundamentally means "dining=movement" and the living room which suggests "relaxation=serenity".
For instance, creating stairs or partitions would create separation between a dining and living room. Painting walls with different colors or hanging art as a focal point could also create differentiation. Furthermore, the living room should reflect what the resident would like to do in that space. For example, if the family is fond of reading books, then the living room can be built mainly with bookshelves hinting sort of a library. If the family likes music, the living room can be a space to play instruments or listen to music.
Essentially, the living room has a function of the "residence's face". Acquiring the affluence of the residence depends on how one creates that space.

Y Residence


The Y Residence stands in the residential area of Tokyo, Setagaya, quite close to the lively shopping street near the station. The owner's wife, N is a piano tutor and has been concerned about where to put a noisy piano, which also takes up a lot of space. In that instance, she coincidentally encountered the magazine article about the architect, Jinko Hangai's designed residence. N had intuitively felt that Hangai will come up with an appropriate design planning and that's how N came to ask her to plan her residence.
Hangai proposed to place a piano in the living room where N can enjoy playing comfortably, instead of putting a piano in the separate room. The basement was made into an entrance, and there are a terrace and staircase that lead to the living room and dining kitchen on the first floor. The dining and the living are divided by different levels, instead of a wall.
Because the Y couple wished to put an importance on the space where the family and the guests gather, and this open-spaced residence was brought to realization. In addition, a bookshelf was installed on the wall of the living room to have a sound-proof effect for the piano.
The party for the completion of the construction was held in the living room and many guests gathered around the piano and it became like a salon concert. N's daughters started to play a piano and she is glad that the piano became an item for the whole family. The residence where the family's treasure can be shared, tells the richness of the lifestyle.

Architect : APS Architecture


O-no Residence

O-tsu city in Shiga prefecture is located in the north- east part of the Kinki district. It is known as an ancient capital, with numerous temples and shrines, a World Heritage. The O-no Residence stands in the corner of a residential area developed in the suburbs of this historical town. An architect, Koichi Kimura, came up with the idea of a residence with 4 terraces, to exemplify a dramatic and extraordinary lifestyle.
The dining room was made into a bright space by building terraces on both sides, making the borders between the indoors and outdoors obscure. The terrace connected to the living room frames the beautiful greenery outside. Kimura established wall and ceiling at the terrace, and put a large sofa to spend the time comfortable. The roof top terrace is surrounded by tall walls so that it feels like being inside. Each terrace having different functions, let the indoor and outdoor get connected smoothly and at the same time, it is adding a rich expression to the residence.
A traditional Japanese color, "Nasukon (eggplant navy blue)" is used for the floors of the living and dining rooms. Gray mortar is used for the dining table and the kitchen counter. Blue is used for the terrace walls and kitchen. All this color combination gives a sedate impression to the residence.


Architect : FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects


Mochizuki Residence


The Mochizuki Residence is an apartment on the 27th floor of a high-rise building, in the prime location in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The owner, Mochizuki had a clear intention of acquiring the "residence to display Henri Matisse painting". Mochizuki is a collector of Matisse paintings. As is widely known, Matisse is one of the most influential French painters of the 20th century. At Mochizuki's request, an interior designer, Ryuichiro Gokyu decided to take down all the existing walls and ceilings even though the apartment was brand-new, and proposed the concept of "classical modern." To accommodate a sedentary lifestyle and accentuate classical elements, a consecutive vertical proportion design was created. A wall was installed on the window side of the living and dining rooms to accentuate the vertical line and at the same time hide the existing structure pillar and window sash. This wall also had plenty of space to display Matisse paintings. The light coming through the gray and white curtains hanging from the window somehow creates a dramatic atmosphere. Italian furniture, PROMEMORIA(appearing on no.25), colors the residence. This furniture, manufactured by experienced craftsmen using high-quality material, surely has a dominant existence in the space. Spending a night in Mochizuki's apartment, where all the interior designs, furniture and art pieces are perfectly displayed, is like experiencing a luxurious stay at a high-end hotel.

Architect : G2 DESIGN STUDIO 




The showroom of the small furniture manufacturer "BDDW" stands on Crosby Street in the center of New York. In the showroom, there are beds, tables, chairs, antique objects and paintings. American-born hard natural wood such as walnut, hard maple, douglas fir, and holly are used for the furniture. However, by differentiating the details such as the fabric texture, the thickness of leather, and also the shape and the positioning of handles. classic American wooden furniture are finished with sophisticated designs.
All of "BDDW"'s furniture is made individually by craftsmen in the studio located in Brooklyn. While maximizing wooden fissures and cortex, natural oil and lacquer are transfused on the surface and finished according to the different kinds of wood. A painter/sculptor/head designer, Tyler Hays joined in this working process. He says by actually touching the wood, innovative ideas and designs can be born. Once an order is placed, it takes about 10 to 12 weeks to receive a finished product but it is worth waiting when it comes to "BDDW"'s furniture.

5 Crosby Street, NEW YORK, NY 10013, USA
TEL.+1(212)625-1230 e-mail.INFO@BDDW.COM



There is a "HUDSON FURNITURE" showroom on the most glamorous street in the Meat Packing District, located in west Manhattan. Beautiful objects with organic lines and their original furniture which was recently released, line up in the showroom.
The petrified wood object design triggered "HUDSON FURNITURE" to get in the center of attention. The owner/designer, Barlas Baylar, was mesmerized by the appealing charm of petrified wood. That's how he started cutting the wood like tree stumps, and began creating unique objects by polishing them thoroughly. Because the color of wood differs according to the nutrients that were surrounding the wood, Barlas was able to create colorful pieces that garnered positive public attention. However, currently in the United States, collecting petrified wood is prohibited by law. Consequently, Barlas negotiated with embassies and consulates of the countries where beautiful and precious resources are destroyed and succeeded in achieving a permit to import those petrified wood into America. Moreover, while he traveled around the world collecting petrified wood, he learned that gigantic trees in many countries whose tree ages were more than 300 years old, are being destroyed by farmers. Incidentally, this inspired him to design various objects using scrap wood.

433 West 14Th Street, Suite #2-F,


Colin Welford Residence

The Welford residence is in Greenwich Village, New York. Under the concept of "creating 'a stage' in the residence", an architect, Timmy Aziz had renovated one apartment unit in the building, built in the 19th century. He has been designing residences mainly in New York but his business activities expand globally such as England, Iran, Bangladesh, etc. The owner, Colin Welford delegated to Timmy everything else except the request "create a dramatic space" .
Towards renovation, Timmy took down all the existing walls, floors and ceilings to make sure there aren't any construction problems. He then created a loft and a spiral staircase in the center of the vaulted ceiling space. Steel beams of approximately 5t create the 6.5m tall ceiling, which is actually two separate floors. The den and bedroom are located on the upper level of floor and on the lower level, various facilities such as sound system, lighting and air conditioning are installed. As this is supported by only 2 steel beams, it's quite a dynamic structure. He also paid attention to details like he placed a box at the bottom of the wall, accommodating all the telephone and lighting cords. The pipeline of radiator heater is located in the same place as well. Furthermore, he effectively used hand-made plaster and paint, mixed with some colors and he asked a designer, Domi Enders for lighting design to meet Colin's request. Various paintings and objects, all selected by Colin, are on display everywhere in the residence, making it a very expressive space.


Architect : Timmy Aziz, R.A.

Jeff Whyte Residence


West Village is located in the south of Manhattan, New York. Jeff and Kate Whyte couple purchased a townhouse of approximately 81m2 in this area. And to create a good storage space for books and other miscellaneous items, the Whytes asked a Vietnamese architect, Phu Hoang, to renovate their home in 2005. Hoang's current business is mainly in New York.
On the contrary to the wife, Kate who would like to "display objects", the husband, Jeff would like to "hide them as much as possible". Having conflicting requests, Phu proposed a huge cabinet affixed to the living room wall whose height is 2,700mm. Dark colored Walnut with beautiful grain woody texture is used but the design is slanted that there is no pressuring feeling. The cabinet doors are double sliding so that one can enjoy the display when opened and things can be hidden as necessary. Moreover, drawers to store the couple's hobby, wine bottles and wine glasses are fixed in the cabinet and also the fireplace is placed. On the other hand, as for the dining room, bench is fixed along the wall where back surface can be used for storage. Phu made the original table, "Martini Table" by artificial marble and steel to fit in an elongated space. The kitchen used to be closed but now it's converted to be open-style and the ceiling height is made to be 2,180mm to have a storage space on the upper part of the wall. As Phu named this renovation "600% Storage", storage space resulted 6 times more than pre-renovation by his meticulous storage planning with cabinets which are compatible with both "show" and "hide".

Architect : Phu Hoang Office, llc


Tanya Tribble Residence


In the center of Brooklyn, New York, local cafes line the streets, and creative minds gather. In this area stands a converted apartment building, which was originally built as an office/factory for a pharmaceutical company in the 1980's.
The owner of one of these apartments, Tanya Tribble, purchased a unit two years ago, and Juan Carlos Matiz, AIA who is an architect of Hangar Design Group NY, to renovate the apartment for her. Juan started this project along with staff member Justin Brown. Tanya wanted a bright and comfortable residence so they took down all the walls surrounding the kitchen, loft and bathroom, and then reconstructed them. As a result, the kitchen was transformed into a spacious kitchen which used to be only 1/3 of the former size. Moreover, glass was utilized a lot for the loft and bathroom so that the light shines through the glasses and wherever you are, you could get a feel of open and bright impression of the residence.

Architect : Hangar Design Group NY

About 2007年09月

2007年09月にブログ「I'm home (NEWS / ENGLISH)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーです。新しい順に並んでいます。




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