Brief: design and renovation of a compact 1F apartment hotel unit in a fusion Japanese / Western style.
Challenges: the main design constraint was to create a fully functioning private suite in a small space of about 30m2. The program required a bedroom with large double bed, kitchen, bathroom, living dining area, plus 2 closets, laundry, and storage under the floor. The interior became a modern Japanese and Western fusion style blending the grace and appeal of a Japanese interior with western furniture and finish carpentry
Design Features: all natural wood finish, tatami floor panels, built-in “Open Hori Kotatsu” dining table with power & USB outlets, custom shower showcasing a combination of materials - ceramic tile, burnt cedar, stone, and concrete
Construction / Materials: light timber frame with 20mm oak veneer, solid oak trim, hardwood T&G paneling, tatami flooring, ceramic tile & stone work which includes pebble flooring
Brief: design and renovation of a luxury 2 bedroom apartment in an Iidabashi station commercial complex. Upgrade and customisation of WIC, study, and kitchen cabinetry.
Challenges: expand the storage areas to make one big WIC, build a 3 meter free spanning custom study desk, and customise the system kitchen to add a 400mm counter integrated with the existing system kitchen unit
Design Features: all natural wood finish, built in lights and power outlets with USB, oil stain finish to match the existing interior
Construction / Materials: light timber frame with 20mm oak veneer, solid oak trim, hardwood T&G paneling
Brief: design and build of the interior fit-out for Lewis Leathers’ flagship store in Harajuku. Full renovation of the existing interior - painted ceiling, wall paneling, vintage flooring, new bathroom fixtures, antique doors, shelving, racks, a central podium, display cases, a curved Kiosk for the cash register, a wooden arch for the front display, and hand painted signage throughout.
Challenges: to re-create their London shop’s retro-style in a modern shop space in Tokyo’s hippest fashion district.
Design Features: they especially wanted a vintage style with dark red-colorer wood and hand painted signage to match their brand image.
Construction / Materials: steel frame and drywall, white birch and cypress woods stained dark, oak vintage flooring, pine tongue and groove stained dark, bathroom fixtures by TOTO
Brief: design and build of Art Wall - a wall for creatives to work or display art located near Sugamo, Tokyo. The first collaboration was with Tokyo artist Rob Judges who painted a large mural called “Mr. McProgress” directly on the wall over the course of several days.
Challenges: build a smooth seamless surface both flat and level in a space with an uneven floor
Design Features: a large white panelled wall about 10 meter long x 2.6 meter high designed to be a dynamic feature within the space and read as a minimal screen
Construction / Materials: light timber frame with 12mm paneling, putty and latex
Brief: a feature wall made of reclaimed Japanese cedar floor boards as a part of an apartment renovation in Gaien-mae, Tokyo.
Challenges: to prep for installation, each board was de-nailed, milled, and thickness planned for consistency. Wall was stained after installation,
Design Features: the wall was stained with a rich dark teak oil stain creating an accent against the lighter wood colors of the floor and ceiling.
Construction / Materials: cedar boards glued and pinned directly to the drywall
Brief: architectural design of a 3-storey post and beam house in Itabashi, Tokyo. House is approx. 150m2 including a car park, 4 bedrooms with walk-in-closet, 1.5 baths, and an open plan LDK (Living-Dining-Kitchen).
Challenges: the initial challenge was to maximize the size of the building as the code restrictions governing footprint, maximum height, and total floor space are quite strict in Tokyo. One of the main design challenges was to get the highest quality of fixtures and furnishings for the spend - high grade double-pane windows, all wooden interior doors, natural wood flooring, high-end bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
Design Features: 3rd storey living dining space with vaulted ceiling and loft, all electric power (no gas for heating or cooking) with solar roof, large sliding glass doors for lots of natural light, large balcony, large walk-in closet with laundry facilities shared by 2 bedrooms, and heated floors.
Construction / Materials: post and beam construction, aluminium siding, solar roof, all natural wood finishings
Brief: a fully renovated art space in Sengoku, Tokyo. All the walls, floor, and ceiling were taken out and rebuilt, completely transforming the space.
Challenges: the big challenge was to convert an old office space with a very low ceiling into an open concept artist studio and event space on a tight budget. The demolition was one of the biggest parts of the project as over 100m2 of flooring and drop ceiling had to be removed. Another challenge was to convert a Japanese toilet into a new shower made of wood and concrete.
Design Features: exposed steel structure in the ceiling painted, reclaim wood wall, painted concrete floor, cedar paneling in the ceiling, track lighting, plywood paneling, custom built furniture.
Construction / Materials: light timber and drywall, wood paneling, reclaimed wood, troweled and poured concrete
Brief: fitout and renovation of a small open office space. Program required a reception area with branded feature wall and a meeting space.
Challenges: Reception and the meeting space needed sound proofing to cut down on the noise from the back office and create a private meeting space. The construction needed to have minimal impact on daily operations and be turned around on a tight schedule. The client’s company colors, logo, and “Ring” app-based video intercom system were integrated to create a reception space inline with their requirements and brand identity.
Design Features: feature wall is constructed almost entirely from an antique Japanese tansu (chest of drawers) oil stained in a dark walnut color. Not only was the front of the tansu removed and used as the center piece, but the entire set of 3 chests was repurposed and splayed our across the wall.
Construction / Materials: Light gage steel frame (LGS), plaster board, floating flooring system, sound dampening sheet and compound, balsa wood antique Japanese chest of drawers (tansu)
Brief: design and build of partition walls in a large warehouse space in Shinagawa. The client was a global IT firm and needed a mixed-use space. The partition walls were needed to separate the warehouse workspace from the future office, meeting room, and lounge space.
Challenges: to make these 3 meter high partition walls sturdy without attaching them to the ceiling (which is over 5 meters high). Free-standing and spanning over 6 meters, the walls need to hold the weight of some heavy swinging doors with little or no shake. We used column-like buttresses with extra reinforced steel to anchor the walls to the concrete and increase sheer strength.
Design Features: integrating a biometric scan with a special lock into one of the doors and a large custom-made steel and aluminium gate
Construction / Materials: steel frame and drywall painted with white latex
Brief: full renovation of a studio apartment in a legacy building in Shinjuku - painted walls, new wood paneling on the ceiling, balcony cleaned and painted, new wooden flooring, new trim & baseboards, and new lighting fixtures & outlets.
Construction / Materials: to give the entire interior and balcony a cleanup and makeover on an aggressive budget.
Design Features: the client, a property investor from Singapore, asked for some design features to give the unit some style beyond the usual “freshening-up” most often done in rental apartments in Japan. The design features became the wall painted yellow around the unit bath and the feature wood wall stained dark along the left side of the unit.
Construction: light timber frame and drywall, wood paneling and flooring, latex paint, reclaimed cedar boards stained dark
Brief: renovation and commercial fit-out converting an older office space in Shimbashi’s business district into a stylish lounge bar called Brew La La. The entire space was refurbished mostly in white and light colored wood - ceiling patched and painted and the walls cladded in brick and tile paneling.
Challenges: the demolition involved taking out the entire drop ceiling in order to gain about 50cm of height which dramatically transformed the space. The biggest challenge was the bar with raised floor. We needed to integrate all the kitchen equipment, 3 sinks, and a large walk in beer cooler with 12 taps.
Design Features: baltic birch bar countertops, feature walls in the corner around the walk-in cooler were done in dark stained cedar as an accent.
Construction / Materials: 2 x 4 construction, engineered woods, cedar boards, white brick, kitchen paneling, pendant lights on track lighting
Brief: renovation and build of a new wooden bar counter at bar Hallogallo in Nakano’s izakaya district.
Challenges: the bar counter itself needed to have a look and feel inline with the bar’s funky, retro style and be very durable as to withstand a fair amount of abuse. The build happened mostly offsite at the studio as not to interrupt business, and was built as a kit of parts small enough to be carried up the narrow stairs to the 2nd floor.
Design Features: The final product utilised a combination of woods and colors and some decorative trim added a bit of extra “style” and “charm”
Construction / Materials: white birch with an oak trim, finished with zelcova and mahogany oil stains.
Brief: studio table made from laminated plywood in a minimalist design. A set of up-cycled workbenches on wheels
Challenges: to make a simple and functional table out of 1 sheet of plywood. To re-purpose some old shelving and convert into a visually pleasing piece that was also very functional
Design Features: functionality & minimalism
Construction / Materials: construction grade plywood, OSB board, metal hardware
Brief: both shopfront and interior signage design and implementation for Lewis Leathers shop in Harajuku.
Challenges: the challenge was to recreate the old shopfront and vintage handprinted signage of the London shop, (some of which dated back over 120 years), in a modern building in Harajuku. As well, the building management would allow only very minimal construction to the exterior of the building - no painting, extensive drilling, or permanent fixtures were allowed.
Design Features: handprinted wooden signs, custom metal shop-front sign with silkscreened print
Construction / Materials: painted iron-wood panels, fabricated sheet metal, painted cypress and pine, goose-neck exterior light fixtures
Brief: various projects using reclaimed wood for wall coverings - either as individual planks pinned to the wall, or as pre-made panels made in the studio.
Challenges: sourcing and prepping reclaimed wood. Creating panels in the studio that are light-weight, unique, and can be easily installed on site
Design Features: rich vintage wood “look and feel”.
Construction / Materials: oil stained cedar wood