Minimal Space

Azabu Residence is a minimal space located in Tokyo, Japan, designed by Keiji Ashizawa and Frederik Alexander Werner of Norm Architects for Karimoku Case Study. The latest additions to the collection of fine wooden furniture pieces are created as part of this complete renovation project and have its native setting in a luxury apartment built in 1988, tucked away in the quiet Nishi-Azabu residential district of Tokyo. 

“Regardless of the dark tones used to unify the space, the beauty of this home stands out in the morning and early afternoon, with the contrast of direct sunlight peeking into the space, and at night, when the ambiance of the space is created by an elaborate artificial light scheme.”

Praise of Shadows

“Another main narrative in the interior design is inspired by the well-known Japanese book by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, “In Praise of Shadows”, that was recommended to us by Keiji Ashizawa on one of our first field trips in Japan. In Scandinavia we often work with bright white walls to enhance daylight, but through the writings of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, we understood the value of dark, dim places and chose to celebrate and enhance the nature of the site, which resulted in a dark monochrome material palette.”

Similar to the previous Case Study projects, the Azabu apartment combines Japanese and Scandinavian design principles and aesthetics. A shared belief in the use of natural materials and a muted color palette lies as the foundation of the project, characterized by the focus on tactile, soft-minimal and timeless qualities.