LT Josai is a share house in Japan designed by Japanese firm Naruse Inokuma Architects. The “share house” is an increasingly popular style of living in Japan, somewhat close to a large house, where the water systems and living room are shared by the residents. What makes it different from a large house, however, is that the residents are not family and are, instead, unrelated strangers. So a special technique in both its management and its space becomes necessary for complete strangers to naturally continue to share spaces with one another.
Text © Naruse Inokuma Architects | Photography © Masao Nishikawa
In this design, focus was given to the fact that it was a newly constructed building, and the share house spaces were created through a reconsideration of the building’s entire composition. The shared and individual spaces were studied simultaneously and, by laying out individual rooms in a three-dimensional fashion, multiple areas, each with a different sense of comfort, were established in the remaining shared space. While the entrance hall with its atrium and dining table space are perfect for gatherings of multiple people, the corner of the living room and spaces by the window are great for spending time alone. The kitchen counter is suitable for communication between a relatively small number of people. The rug space on the 1st floor is the most relaxed of all the spaces.
Through the creation of such spaces, the residents are able to use shared spaces more casually, as extensions of their individual rooms. At the same time, the individual rooms, which seem to have the same character in plan, are all different due to their relationships to the shared space, defined by characteristics like their distance and route from the living room.
While this share house has such rich shared spaces and spacious 12.4 square sized individual rooms, its total floor area divided by the number of residents amounts to a mere 23 square meters per person. This share house is thus so efficient and rich that the countless number of one-room apartments in the world seem to make less sense in comparison.