nr1977 / mihadesign

© Sadao Hotta

Architect: mihadesign
Location: Setagaya, ,
Project Year: 71.5 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Sadao Hotta

© Sadao Hotta

This is a renovation project of a room of an apartment for a married couple and their four children. Under the condition of approximately only 70 square meters for a room, we thought it was impossible to divide the common space and the individual rooms. Then we took off the walls of 2DK room, and make it one big room at first. Then we put two “boxes” covered by wood and blue felt in the room diagonally. On the top of the “boxes”, the ceiling height is only 1.1m; however it is enough for children to use. The ceiling height of the room is 2.4m and parents always can feel their children’s presence.

© Sadao Hotta

Under the blue “box”, there is a bed for the couple and the youngest child. And top of the box, there are desks around it which is multipurpose space for the children to play, read or draw. Under the bed, there is a storage space which they can put their things they usually don’t use. The box is connected by the small stairs from living room, and adult has to crouch to go up because of its height, but children can go up normally. The wooden “box” is made for bets, desks and benches for the older three children and is an only private space for them.


To go up to the benches on the box, you have to put your feet on the small shelf on the wall, and your hand on the wall. The children can use the light on the upper part of the front wall without leaking light around when they read books on the beds, or study on the box. There is a shelf for their backpacks or textbooks in the back upper part, and they can take them by extending their hand from the bench. You can see the children sitting on the bench when you enter. You can walk around the “boxes”, and there are kitchen and storage space placed on each faces. The “boxes” have some holes on its wall and they become peepholes you can look through, stairs to go up, and bench like a bay window. The “boxes” creates various activities in the room and it’s like a set of the stage.

Text provided by mihadesign.

© Sadao Hotta
© Sadao Hotta
© Sadao Hotta
Cite: "nr1977 / mihadesign" 30 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Diana Galatus

    Just genius !

  • ariana roberts

    good design

  • Katsudon


  • clement

    creative solution but kids does grow up so fast.. so, maybe they need to renovate the house again in few years..

  • Yang

    wouldnt it be better if the children sleep on the upper level and study at the lower level? in this way there can be a more open space on the ground level, after all we only sleep 8 hours per day, so why do we let the beds to occupy the lower level space? i think it will be much better if there are no boxes… or the boxes are hanging on the celling. the spaces are too narrow.

    • Ami

      I agree 100%

  • nn

    programmatically flawless! obviously the children were the prime concern here and the entire apartment is beautifully playful.
    for the kids, the possibility to occupy an elevated position best part of the day is a winner, i’m sure. that’s why placing the beds on the upper level would have missed the point here…

    • Yang

      it’s true that in this project the children can occupy an elevated position in the daytime, but all they can do there is just learning and playing with toys or watching mummy cooking, they are not able to run and fight each other and quite limited to the “tables and chairs” (think about how much effort must be taken when the kids want to move from the desk to the playplatform(top of the blue box)). On another hand, putting the beds on the upper level will not disturb the will of children to “occupy an elevated position”-they can sit on the bed,playing and watching the whole area, what different is, in this way the space where the children’s activities take place will be unlimited,undevided, which allow the children to go freely,not just within the “boxes”.

  • Todd

    Great sketches!

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