The property of the penthouse is located in Tokyo’s uptown, close to the Imperial Palace site dating back 200 years to the Edo period in Tokyo, however the architecture from this time has dimly survived as a town scape. The brief was to create contemporary interior evoking such a memory of Japanese aesthetic sense through planning, design and details.
The key aspects of the property are the Tatami room, Shoji screen, the gold leaf lighting and the Sen flooring. The small tatami room, connected to a larger living space, is a contemporary version of an old Shion study room, is not only a symbolic feature of the residence to be used for tea ceremonies with guests, but it is also utilised for work and study sitting at a small fixed desk on the “tatami” mat, from where the room gets its’ name.
The shoji screen is a window treatment, and it is crucial due to the open nature of the penthouse, and is used to control strong daylight. The screen, traditionally, is made of rice paper and a thin wooden frame, however these tend to be distorted under the air conditioning, so the designer crafted a very thin frame from aluminum with a wooden veneer so it was stable and durable.
The gold leaf lighting was carefully designed in a luxury Japanese style. The pendant lamp and covered lighting used gold leaf to evoke a brilliant tone and glow reminiscent of the “Edo” period. The pendant lamp is in direct contrast to the sleek Italian furniture and is composed of gold leaf sandwiched with papers. The apricot flower shaped lighting piece is gold plated inside the reflector and is a common decorative element from the “Edo” period again contrasting with this rather modern, simple interior.
Even the very light and fine grained wooden flooring throughout the property, has been custom cut to give a very soft feeling, similar to that of the Tatami straw mat.