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CLIMBING THE WALLS

by Michele Koh Morollo on Jan 20, 2014 in Architecture , Interiors
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For a couple that loves both rock-climbing and carpentry, this home studio in Osaka, designed by Yo Shimada of Tato Architects, is a dream come true

Once a storage warehouse, this home in Izumi-Omiya has been converted into an intimate minimalist residence for a young couple with a penchant for climbing walls. The owners are into bouldering – a sport that involves free climbing on rocks two to four metres high without a lifeline. They also enjoy carpentry and wanted both their passions to come through in their home. Their brief was for a bedroom, a room that could be converted into two rooms in the future (possibly for children at a later stage), a large window that would provide plenty of light, an office space, and an area where they can practice bouldering whenever the urge strikes.

To accommodate the third element on the couple’s list, Shimada incorporated a sloping wooden wall on the first level of the 118.42 sq-m, two-storey building. This wall is affixed with threads and wall grips; rather than standing perpendicular to the floor or ceiling, it creates an incline to allow the couple to attach instruments and grips on its surface for bouldering practice.

Stretching across half of the house is a double-height living and dining area, and from the dining area, a ladder ascends, serving as a short cut up to the master bedroom through a square cut-out window. As part of the renovation, Shimada and his team had the building re-clad in galvanised steel and a pair of large shutters replaced with square glazing panels. The flooring material alternates between concrete and wood to create a demarcation between functional zones, lending an interesting textural contrast to an otherwise sparsely furnished abode.

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