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Live and work spaces have a tricky set of tasks to manage – beyond the layout itself, there is the look. In this case, the architects managed to tap into the traditional style of a regional townhome while also creating enough visual interest to suggest a retail purpose.

Designed by ISSHO Architects (images by Koichi Torimuraark), dark wood louvers tap into a long-standing approach of using latticework to suggest the nature or type of shop, but in this case, the forms are modulated and distinctively modern – they still say ‘noodles’, perhaps, but in a very new and different way.

This curvilinear is carried into the ceiling of the restaurant space, flipping from black to a series of white slats that interact with the lighting above. Narrow and functional, the first floor is given over toe the noodle shop, while the above levels are saved for the residential parts of the program.