by Neometro

The Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Architecture, High Density Homes - by Open Journal
  • three mat apartments of tokyo

3rd June, 2020.

Imagine being able to stretch out your arms to touch the opposite walls of your living room. Imagine residing in a home so small its redemption is found in the sprawling metropolis tantalisingly beyond the window. Imagine a living space the size of a queen bed, and a sleep space that hangs above. All this made feasible because of the ‘apartments’ functionality being carefully stripped back to its bare essentials – an affordable space devoted to staying warm, dry and clean. Welcome to the new wave of apartment life in Tokyo. 

Tokyo’s extreme urban density has long meant the existence of a unique set of priorities for its younger population. Either a long commute into and out of central districts becomes part of daily life, or exorbitant living costs are copped in exchange for the usual lifestyle offerings like going out for dinner or buying nice clothes. Recently though, a group of enterprising developers have delivered a whole new residential possibility.  

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Des-res (desirable residential) Tokyo style has been defined as loft-apartments with approximately 9 square meters (or three tatami mats) of floor space. Available only to singles, 1,200 of these teeny tiny apartments have popped up in 70 buildings across Tokyo’s 23 central wards since the company spearheading them, Spilytus, was established in 2014. There are 25 more buildings in the pipeline and a long waitlist for future apartments. 

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

The profound success of these apartments defines today’s living standards in areas of extremely high density across the globe. They may be short on floor space however the amenity, natural light and vertical real estate they offer is proof that bigger isn’t always better. With rental sitting around ¥75,000 per month (approximately $1,000AUD), the occupants don’t have to forego a social life to make rent. The minuscule kitchenettes are rarely used as the myriad food offerings on the doorstep are a viable option. These homes are boltholes. Perfectly aligned to young professionals who are more out than they are in and more interested in spending their hard earned money on travel and experiences than their daily commute and the roof over their heads.

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Three Mat Apartments of Tokyo

Words by Tiffany Jade.

Images courtesy of Spilytus.


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