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Sliding Walls Turn Tiny Apartment Into Home Office (and Back)

How do you add new rooms when you can’t add floor space? If you’re Yuko Shibata, you just make the walls mobile.

Sliding Walls Turn Tiny Apartment Into Home Office (and Back)

Yuko Shibata’s client was asking for the impossible: adding a large meeting room/workspace and a library to his miniscule Tokyo apartment. Shibata’s clever solution? Make the walls themselves mobile — and turn the rooms into interior-architectural Transformers.

Here’s how the bedroom turns into the library, thanks to a pivoting bookshelf-wall, pictured just above:

To “add” the meeting room, Shibata installed a sliding wall in the dining room that literally shifts from side to side over the large table. Here it is in dining-room mode:

And then… transform!

Shibata calls his design “Switch.” I’d have preferred “Optimus Prime,” but to each his own.

[Photographs by Ryohei Hamda]

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.