House in Nihshi-Honmach is a small studio apartment with a natural and simple beauty, located in Osaka, Japan, designed by Shimpei Oda Architect Office.
This is a small renovation project. For a typical rental apartment, it is common to perform maintenance such as changing wallpaper and renewing equipment, every time a new resident moves in. However, there has been no tradition of renovating a space itself. In this case, the architect decided to divert the maintenance budget to create an attractive space with additional value instead of changing wet areas that are still usable. The plan of the house was a typical, so-called one room type, which was with a balcony which is too small to serve an area for any activity, even for drying clothes. Accordingly, the architect tried to restore the relationship between a detached balcony and an interior space by changing floor materials to create different areas arbitrary. 'Inner balcony' is prepared to integrate the interior and the exterior. It acts as a versatile space where a resident grows plants, maintains a bike, drying clothes. Various existing textures are all painted in white. This abstracted interior gives prominence to possessions of a resident that change over time. To make 'the next restoration' easier, it was also important to prepare sustainable system with maintainable materials. When a resident moves out, the room is easily restored to the original condition by patched and painted holes on walls, and painted solid timber floor with oil . So residents can enjoy customizing their space without hesitating to make screw holes on the wall any more. Shimpei Oda expect this small renovation project will enrich the sense of dwelling.
It's an old wiring method that had been used in Japan before 1960's. The porcelain insulator which is called 'Gaishi', is pivotal point of wiring. In old days, electric wires were made of textile, not covered with vinyl like as today's. So Gaishi was mounted to keep the distance between walls and electric wires. This wiring method was getting inclined because of the change in Architectural style and technological improvement in Electrical construction. In this project the slab is directly composing ceiling, so there is no ceiling cavity where architect could hide wiring works like as they normally do in the most of new buildings. Architect suppose that the details are specially important in a small space where all components are assembled so close to each other. Therefore he installed the old method with porcelain insulators to design a ceiling. The old method is now giving a fresh expression and performing well as an accent in the room.