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Compact Tokyo apartment employs curved wall to create zones instead of rooms

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A simple update to a 25-year-old flat

The Japanese certainly know how to make the most of limited space—especially in high-density urban areas like Tokyo—and this compact apartment by local architecture firm Sinato is no exception.

By adding a single curved wall, the studio instantly updated this 25-year-old flat in a simple but surprising way. Taking advantage of the existing concrete structural walls for support, the new wall, made of pale wood, starts at the entrance and curves along the main corridor of the home, effectively creating a hallway and dividing up the living area into three different zones: A tatami section, a den, and a reading nook.

The addition also features window-shaped cut-outs that serve to connect the rooms on either side, which include a kitchen and dining area, a small office, and bedroom. Arched openings also figure throughout the home, creating a playful, dollhouse effect. Built-in shelves and storage help keep the minimalist residence orderly. Take a look below.