Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hiroyuki Hirai

The flat is located on the third floor of a nine-storied office building in Kojimachi, one of Tokyo’s central wards, which faces Shinjuku-dori, a street with very heavy traffic. The floor measures 6.8m in width and 17.5m in depth. At the end of the floor – close to the elevator and the staircase – I constructed a lavatory, bathroom and kitchen. The remaining streetside part (6.8m wide, 10.8m deep and 3.4m high) forms a plaster white rectangular space. In this space, I created a new second-floor level (grating) with a guatripartite metallic-grey frame of H-section steel beams, supported by low walls made of concrete blocks.
Further installations include large canvas sliding doors, set along the steel frame in three places. In fact, despite the H-section steel beams and the walls’ concrete blocks that structure the room, it is these canvas doors that feature most prominently in the large studio-type space, as they make it possible to divide the room if and as required. Interestingly enough, this feature has a certain feedback effect on permanent elements such as the concrete-block walls and the steel frame, which in turn become room installations.