The new apartment designed by Takero Shimazaki Architects project at the Shakespeare tower in the Barbican, London, developed through the initial conversations with its new owners, who previously had lived in Japan for many years.
Two owners of the apartment had moved in after several years of living in Japan, during which they accrued an "extraordinary" knowledge of the country's culture and language. South London-based practice Takero Shimazaki Architects used this as a starting point for its overhaul of the apartment. It worked to achieve a delicate balance between Japanese aesthetics and the brutalist style of the estate's buildings.
Due to the client’s experience of living in Japan, the interior references Japanese design, including the use of sliding timber screens and tatami mats. Other elements include a non-structural terrazzo column that sits at the center of the plan that would act as a bridge between the two contrasting languages of this interior architecture.
"For our inspiration, we looked towards many of the early modernist Japanese architects, who were dealing with similar issues of identity when European modernism was entering Japan at rapid speed," said the practice.