Text description provided by the architects. Taka Shinomoto and Voar Design Haus add layers of spaces within a Tokyo apartment.
Typically finish materials are bound by the programmatic boundaries of a room, which makes a defined block of space. This could be compared to a brownie, it is a sweet treat that is the same all the way through. Taka Shinomoto and Voar Design Haus set out to make a space like an Opera cake: a sweet treat but with layers of different materials.
The program of the rooms is typical: living room, kitchen, bedroom, closet and bathroom. Layers of were superimposed on the apartment, regardless of program using color, finish and resolution to define the layers. In the living room a gradient of brown clearly shows the chocolate ganache, coffee and buttercream layers. The ceiling is all white, but treated in glossy, matte and textured coatings. The wood floor uses both color and plank widths to define the layers. Even the quality of light changes in each layer.
Sliding door panels are used to cover both kitchen and living room storage.The kitchen area hides behind a flooring wall: The kitchen is open. Sorry, the kitchen is closed.
The decreasing wood plank widths exaggerate the depth of the space using the illusion of foreshortening. The layers capture several expressions of light and fictional depth of space, causing a small apartment to feel much larger. An inner balcony leads to the bedroom from the kitchen area. The plank widths are smallest in this inside/outside layer.
The ceiling and floor treatments continue into the bedroom. Wood shelving is a thin sponge cake layer separating the bedroom from the walk-in closet, storage and hidden corridor that connects to the kitchen. The gloss and matte layers wrap over a beam. Millwork throughout the apartment disguises storage and bathrooms.