Opaque guardrails at the sleeping mezzanine were replaced with frameless glass guardrails in order to provide a direct visual connection to the living room below. A large over-sized sheet of transparent glass further eliminates privacy in the master bathroom by allowing views into and out of the bathroom to the rest of the loft beyond. In contrast to the existing heavy-timber and rusticated brick structural shell which are left exposed, sleek new interior finishes were replaced throughout including wall and floor finishes, kitchen and bathroom mill work and a new steel cantilever stair that connects the living areas on the ground floor with the sleeping areas on the mezzanine.
Upon entry, you are drawn into widening views of sand and surf as rooms unfold to stunning views. Elegant white oak floors and windows framing ocean views provide an elegant palette for exquisite art and fine furnishings.
The forms and organizations of the urban single-family house (along with a variety of other building types) have been driven toward extreme versions of efficiency by an ever-increasing metropolitan density. In a city like Tokyo, increasing land values, proximity to public transportation and the recognized value of maintaining a maximum amount of undeveloped open space outside of the city limits have produced models of ‘existence minimum’ that eclipse any western precedents; we marvel at the phenomenon of the ‘Tokyo dwelling’, where the most is made with the least. Objects are both miniaturized and multi-functional, and even the most modest condition of outdoor space is captured as a commodity of light, air and view. At its best the result is creative solutions driven by extreme constraint, at its worst the production of almost inhumane living conditions.