As more people telecommute and work from home, some may find it difficult to separate their work space from their living space. Some may install their office space in the basement, the bedroom or in a shed out back, but this may not be possible for people living in smaller city apartments.
To be enable her to work and live in the same Tokyo apartment, and to avoid paying high office rents, Japanese architect Yuko Shibata added a series of moving walls in her home to allow her to create extra client meeting spaces and libraries. We covered it previously, but this video tour of Shibata's transformer apartment from Fair Companies is worth a thousand pictures:
As Shibata explains, this "Switch" design came about as a way to get around the inflexibility if the building's existing, box-like reinforced concrete structure, where walls are structural elements and therefore cannot be taken down. Inspired by fusuma, which are traditional Japanese sliding partitions that can open up or divvy up a room, the concept is to sub-divide the existing space down whenever it's needed, changing the static into something fresh and flexible.
Shibata's design adds a rolling wall that can either hide or reveal a custom-built bookshelf behind it, effectively creating a new library and client meeting space space when the wall is moved out. The big table here doubles as a conference and dining table.
The other office space has what looks like a built-in bookshelf. But push it back, and it swings out to reveal yet another set of shelves and storage, while also creating a green-coloured reading space, separate from the bedroom.
In all, Shibata's renovations cost about USD $7,000 with minimal intervention to the existing structure, establishing a clever and flexible design that can adapt to the needs of the present, whatever they may be. Read more over at Fair Companies and Yuko Shibata.