K Residence is a minimalist home located in Kanagawa, Japan, designed by Puddle. This flat, with a tatami living room, was built and first occupied 35 years ago. As is often seen in flats from around that time, it had a low suspended ceiling concealing the beams and services. The designers removed the ceiling to reveal the beams, which were still in excellent condition. The design also exposed the concrete walls; they provide a good hardwearing surface. At the centre of the flat, we provided a multi-functional space consisting of a six Tatami-mat room, with a Tokonoma alcove and a small storage space. The owner wanted this to be the main reception room, as it is quite close the entrance. It can be used to entertain formal guests, for serving tea and meals, and also as a bedroom for visiting relatives or friends.
Two beams run across the room and this combination of plain concrete walls and traditional tatami mats offers a pleasant contrast of old and new. The open kitchen, dining room and living room have large windows and face south, so the lady of the house, who spends the most of her time at home, can enjoy this large area, with its warm sunlight and veranda. The contrast of the custom-made Silestone kitchen counter and the plain existing concrete wall is refreshingly modern, and the L-shaped pink-grey sofa – an original Puddle design – provides a warm corner area. The long north-facing bedroom is symmetrical and has two doors.
Photography by Kenta Hasegawa