Room 407, an eye-popping modern apartment in black and white, is a Tokyo, Japan design by PANDA (Person and Architecture). The idea of the interior, as the architects explain, is “balance and tranquility”; the contrast between black and white serves as a “center of energy.” Balance and tranquility are great assets to have in this neighborhood, the financial district of a major city; the clients are young professionals who bought this apartment for its proximity to their workplace and had specific demands in mind. They wanted to live “spaciously” — to have enough closets and storage, to have a home that was welcoming and easy to keep neat, and to have an open plan of living/dining/entertaining space, an ample master bedroom, and a guest space they could convert to a child’s room in the future.
“Given these requests,” the architect relates, “my first thoughts are to avoid making monotonous built-in wall closets or simply removing partition walls to make free open space, because I feel that in such monotony and openness residents would have no clue as to how they should use the given space or which item should go to which storage, and that would be inconvenient and disorderly.” His plan organizes the apartment along an angled “axis,” with private spaces at the either end, “public” spaces in the middle, and clearly delineated storage areas that have specific purposes as well as uncluttered lines. It encompasses an economy of floor plan, workability, and personal involvement from the clients; this, as the architect says, makes people “happy in the end.”