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Smart apartment design

Japanese design turns an open plan apartment into a clever use of available space using partitions.


Tokyo architects, Sinato, uses an ingenious veneered plywood partitions to create several distinct spaces within this open plan apartment.

Located in an old building, the renovation of this apartment required the clever use of available space to convert the open space into a living room, kitchen and dining area, full bathroom and two bedrooms. The designers incorporated a series of veneered plywood panels to create individual areas within the open space.

The use of partitions allow individual living areas to be 'built' with the existing walls to carve the open area into specific zones. Within the partitioned areas, various elements for living are incorporated into the layout to further free up floor space. Built-in benches double up to provide seating and essential storage.

In order to allow the occupants to live with greater freedom within a very limited floor area, the designers gave a lot of thought to how to effectively connect the various areas. The use of partitions preserve a clear view from one end of the apartment to the other, giving a perception of space without inhibiting ventilation and flow of natural light.





Veneered plywood is an affordable material to use for the partitions, and the deceptively simple design is one that any DIY enthusiasts could tackle if looking at a similar setup in their own open plan home or apartment. A basic timber frame is wrapped with plywood boards to have a partition that is sturdy yet attractive.

To highlight the sense of space in the apartment, only one paint colour was used, and varying hues applied to walls and ceilings. This also ties in with the exposed concrete beams and exposed piping.