ichijo-toma is an apartment renovation in meguro, tokyo by and for the founders of kooo architects, focused on an enjoyable and comfortable japanese-styled way of living. the architects incorporated a layout that is sensible to the human scale, materials that give a feeling of vitality, and the wisdom that has been cultivated in the lives of japanese people over the centuries.

ichijo toma 1
all images by keishin horikoshi/SS



kooo architects value the wisdom that has been cultivated in the lives of japanese people over the centuries, as well as the materials that have been long respected. for this reason, they adopted a variety of carefully curated materials and details instead of simply opting for something out of convenience, with the hope to liberate the monotonous lives of people nowadays living in standard nLDK apartments.

ichijo toma 2
the whole room looks out from the entrance 




the architects incorporated handcrafted elements into the space, with the aim to provide people with endless creativity and warmth. their mission was to help create an environment where people can relax and enjoy their daily lives. in their opinion, most people nowadays tend to choose the most standard finishing materials just for convenience, and this resulted in increasing the likeness of all recently developed residential spaces.

ichijo toma 3
japanese-styled room-tatami



on the contrary, ichijo-toma appreciates the aesthetics that prospered from the traditional japanese culture therefore, kooo architects are more inclined to use materials that are appropriate to convey the local ideology. they wanted to let the gentle atmosphere created by light and touch harmonize in time, evolve, and finally become a part of the family, together creating a more abundant life.

ichijo toma 4
reading room



through lighting design and customized furniture, the apartment brings out the beauty of natural materials and the characteristics of the spatial layout, further enhancing the space to adapt to the lifestyle of each client. japanese people in ancient times mostly lived in houses where the rooms divided and connected with sliding doors. this made them more considerate about the family members that live with, paying more attention to their inter-family relationships.

ichijo toma 5
dining room



the way ichijo-toma lays out the rooms also respects the value of having a comfortable and healthy relationship among family members. some clients only seek the maximum number of rooms, but the designers advocate for a simple lifestyle like that of the families in the old days. on top of ensuring each family member has their own space in the house, a good layout guarantees a pleasant yet flexible and versatile lifestyle while subdividing the house into a minimum number of rooms.

ichijo toma 6
living room 

ichijo toma 7
living room 

ichijo toma 8
living room

ichijo toma 9

ichijo toma 10

ichijo toma 11

ichijo toma 12



project info:


name: ichijo-toma

designer: kooo architects

area: 90sqm (968.75 sqft)

location: meguro, tokyo

photography: keishin horikoshi /ss 

lead architects: kojima shinya, kojima ayaka

design team: gaku ishikawa

lighting design: daisuki light, oyoshi masato.

construction: hitoreno, sato masanori 


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom