Nesting: Egg-Shaped Divider Defines Cafe, Gallery + Studio



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A young couple in Musashino, Tokyo built this small, unassuming-looking home directly across from the lush Nogawa Park. They weren’t just looking for a home; they wanted to build a space that was an art gallery, a studio, and a community café.

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They hired architects Flat House to help them realize their vision. In a complete reversal of most home layouts, the couple asked the architects to designate only a small area on the upper floor for their personal living quarters.

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The lower part of the home is built around an oval space in the very center. This oval contains the kitchen and bathroom areas – including a small shower upstairs – as well as providing an indoor balcony protruding from the second-story bedroom. An outdoor second-story balcony also lets the residents see visitors approaching from the nearby park.

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This oval acts as a sort of divider in the middle of this fluid space. It flows easily from café to gallery to studio as one walks around the perimeter of the “egg.” The couple has already opened their home to the public as a small café, but work continues on the gallery portion before it can open to the community.

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