When Kaori Kikushima and Ikki Nagasawa of Tokyo-based architecture firm knof purchased this 33-year old apartment in the Kiyosumishirakawa district, it was compartmentalized into 5 separate rooms. An aggressive renovation plan opened the space up to create a multi-functioning area that could breath and morph between home and office.
Although the new open floor plan would allow for the flexibility that the architects needed to host clients in their home, they didn’t want their personal lives on full display either. So they decided to install a giant fusuma consisting of 9 panels that could conceal elements like the bathroom, toilet and bookshelves stacked with manga.
Fusuma (襖) are traditional elements of Japanese architecture and consist of vertical rectangular panels that slide from side to side to redefine spaces. Historically, fusuma were painted with scenes from nature so knof decided to do the same. They hired artist Saki Ikeda to create a custom-artwork of a whale that was then printed onto the paneling.