“Hotel apartment” by Ryohei Tanaka

G architects studio’s Ryohei Tanaka designed a “hotel apartment” in Azabujuban, Tokyo.
Here are the texts from the architect studio.


This unique apartment is located in the very heart of Tokyo, inside a low-rise apartment complex, one block from a major highway. The client had been searching for a convenient location in central Tokyo and found this thirty-seven year old apartment located in the attic of the building complete with long, sloping ceilings and a raw interior. The sloped ceilings have been converted into a skylight allowing in natural sunlight with a wonderful unobstructed view of the city. Since this apartment is to be used for accommodation purposes, we took the unique character of the apartment and added a hotel-like atmosphere.


In order to achieve harmony between the industrial attic interior and a welcoming hotel-like atmosphere, soft painting techniques that resembles traditional Japanese paper called “Washi” are used on the surface of the raw concrete walls and ceilings.This original texture is created with resin sheets that are normally used as slip-
proof mats under carpets. These mats are cut to A4 size, attached to the interior walls and spray-painted. Once the sheets are removed, it appears to be the texture of traditional Japanese Washi paper.


This type of “hotel apartment” is a wonderful alternative to the existing hotel industry in central Tokyo. Plans are in place to increase these types of apartments in Tokyo with this apartment being the first test model for future projects. Due to websites like Airbnb, there has been an increase in popularity with these types of short-term apartment rentals. These are customers who are dissatisfied with traditional hotels and would like the comfort of a home while traveling along with a truly unique experience when visiting Tokyo.


During the 1980’s, Japan’s economic bubble created a host of “Pencil Buildings”. These were tall, slender structures built to utilize small plots of land in Tokyo for maximum profitability. This project will rejuvenate these already existing structures breathing in new life to old utilitarian buildings generated by the city long ago.

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