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Norm Architects And Keiji Ashizawa Design Two Elegant And Minimal Apartments In Tokyo

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Kinuta Terrace
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In Tokyo, two apartments in an unassuming block take influences from both Scandinavian and Japanese design in their formation: ‘Kinuta Terrace’ is the result of a collaboration between Tokyo-native design studio Keiji Ashizawa and the Copenhagen-based Norm Architects.

What Scandinavian and Japanese design traditions share in similarity is their appreciation of materiality, most especially with respect to wood and concrete, and their functional spaces defined by elegant minimalism and timeless appeal. The renovation of the ‘Kinuta Terrace’ apartments, two flats within a 36-unit complex, exemplifies this alliance. The design stems from a focus on balance, on expression through material, and on bringing light and nature inside. The apartment block is arranged around a central courtyard, to provide its residents the experience of living in a home with a communal garden. The collaboration also saw the two firms create a series of bespoke furniture pieces for the homes in collaboration with Japanese wooden furniture manufacturer Karimoku. The ‘Kinuta Collection’ consists of 12 tailormade furniture items that draw on natural references from the aforementioned courtyard. This includes the ‘Kinuta N-S01’, a contemporary, mid-century modern sofa made from smoked oak wood and beige and gray upholstery, and the ‘Kinuta A-CT01’, a low-lying transparent glass table that matches the height of the sofa, while referencing the traditional Japanese short legged chabudai dining tables.

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All images © Norm Architects