- Art & Design
Karimoku Case Study is a Japanese furniture and lifestyle brand. Their collections come to life in individual cases designed by well-known architects. Earlier, we wrote about their first case study, which showcased the Kinuta collection, now, it's the turn of their fourth case study, Azabu Residence. Designers on duty are again Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design.
With Azabu Residence, Japanese lifestyle brand Karimoku Case Study presents its fourth case study. The Azabu Residence collection was designed for the complete renovation project of a 1988 luxury apartment hidden in a quiet residential area in Tokyo. For the occasion, Danish Norm Architects and Japanese Keiji Ashizawa Design were once again called upon to help design both the apartment and the collection. It was important for both design studios to emphasise the qualities and unique characteristics of the exterior in the interior design. The building is located on a spacious site, which is rarely seen in Tokyo today.
The project focuses on tactile, minimalist and timeless qualities.
Azabu Residence combines Japanese and Scandinavian design principles and aesthetics. A shared belief in the use of natural materials and a subdued colour palette characterises the project, with a focus on tactile, minimalist and timeless qualities. The dark tones embrace the shadows rather than working against them. For this, both studios took inspiration from the well-known Japanese book In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki. ‘In Scandinavia, we often work with bright white walls to enhance daylight, but through this work we understood the value of dark, dim places and chose to celebrate and enhance the nature of the place, resulting in a dark monochrome material palette,’ explains Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects. Influences from American modernism are also evident in the use of the warm, dark materials and wooden wall coverings, lush carpets and tactile upholstery. ‘The living spaces with a small bar, the open kitchen and voluminous comfortable furniture draw inspiration from a range of elements: from the Japanese-inspired Schindler House in Los Angeles to the extravagant New York flats from the television series Mad Men,’ we hear from Frederik Werner of Norm Architects. For the interior, both studios opted for a mix of existing pieces from the current collection and created new custom-made furniture pieces that specifically fit the space. Keiji Ashizawa, for example, designed a dining table with a light and elegant appearance that suits the dark wood tones of the interior. Norm Architects, on the other hand, designed a modular sofa, with soft, rounded cushions and a dark, wooden frame, using traditional Japanese wood joinery techniques for which Karimoku Case Study is famous. The spacious but dimly lit apartment is a cosy home, away from the noise of the city. In short, a calm and embracing interior for contemplation and private family life.
Photography: Karimoku Case Study