Tenhachi 8 House Makes Cramped Living Space Livable

Functional cramped living gets an upgrade. Imagine sheltering your family, lover, dog, and odds and ends in a smallish 67 square meter flat in the heart of Tokyo. To some, that might actually be considered luxury in the heart of such a bustling metropolis. To others, it might mean cramped living spaces, jostling for elbow room in bed or in the bathroom before the sink and mirror; bumping your head on the low ceilings when descending a staircase…and so on and so forth.

So the dream to reimagine such a space and make it much more livable wasn’t lost on the pair of design geniuses that make up Tenhachi. Architect designers Tomoko Sasaki and Kei Soto did double duty stripping down a space with lots of potential and opening it up to more possibilities. They essentially peeled back the walls to create box-like spaces that would house a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and other fine living spaces; huge upgrades from the original incarnation of the apartment.

Tenhachi's exposed bath and bedroom.

Tenhachi’s exposed bath and bedroom.

Above the bedroom, the pair created a loft space. The original idea for the newly minted loft space was to give a play area for the kids that would eventually evolve into a storage and/or work unit. The bedroom features a large enough space suitable for a king size bed, minimal décor with bare ecru walls and a panel of windows. A ladder positioned just outside of the bedroom grants access to the loft space.

And for something so incredibly small, the operative word is space. With the 67 square meters of apartment Sasaki and Soto opened up spaces, leaving the bedroom exposed to the kitchen and dining area. Doorways are opened box frame-like ports that transition from one room to the next. But with one long view of the flat, it seems more like an open living space with dedicated living zones. The result while minimalist in ambiance is eye-catching in scope.

Tenhachi’s “full bath.”

Hardwood floors and table tops couple seamlessly with an open bath and shower. Here the bath cuts a clean white silhouette with wood furnishings. And while the bath itself is just as everything else open, a curtain can be drawn for privacy. Wood planks act as supports and beams throughout the flat. And the flat lends itself to a sense of honesty and warmth with this consistent touch of wood throughout. Cedar is the go to medium for the tables and workspaces. Given that cedar ages well, taking on character throughout the life of the owner, the two architects opted for a strong choice that will give the flat some depth over the years to come.

Floorplan of Tenhachi 8 house.

Continuing a trend of forward-thinking living and work spaces that overcome their size obstacles, the 8 House (which nestles just outside of Tokyo) has already turned heads. Among its other features are a swing, a small hallway with a bike rack, and a respectable closet space for the fashionable types.