TOKYO – An apartment building in a quiet residential area in Tokyo expands our sense of space. By blurring the divisions between rooms and choosing a vertical organisation of space, Japanese studio HTMN managed to enlarge, if not the floor area of the three dwellings that constitute it, then one’s perception of it.

The design changes in each apartment so that light intensity, the position of views and the distribution of rooms are always different. According to Hiroaki Takada and Masayuki Nakahata, co-founders of HTMN, ‘This building is like an aggregate of detached houses (…) each dwelling unit describes the next one’s shape, a positive prescribes a negative.’

Despite this variation in design, they all possess certain features in common which make them equally exciting and comfortable living spaces. For instance, the same sense of spaciousness, of ‘elastic territory’, as the architects call it, can be felt in all three apartments.

By erecting the building in a small area of the 154-sq-m plot, the architects managed to compensate for the overcrowded surroundings so that the dwellings are bathed by abundant sunlight and afford plentiful natural ventilation.

Images courtesy of Daici Ano