Habitat is an antique shop located in Osaka, Japan. Their office space was fit out by Facet Studio, who wrote up a little bit about the project here:
“This office is located at a place surrounded by buildings on all sides. It is not all that pleasant, to be entirely honest. There we exhausted our minds in finding some kind of apparatus which can maintain privacy, whilst ensureing natural light access. We found a simple answer to our problem: to allocate “paper screens” invented centuries ago, at the threshold between inside and outside.
When we open up the paper screens, of course we can ensure a visual connection between inside and outside; we can also control the amount of openess. Furthermore, even when we close the paper screens, it diffuses the natural light from outside, and distributes softly to the inside. It becomes possible for us to enjoy this threshold in many ways: when it is closed, and when it is opened. It is quite curious that when the paper screens are closed, because only the existence of “light” transfers to our brains as visual information, it somehow makes the space seem brighter.
This soft, diffused light neutralises the hardness of concrete; the dully oil-stained cedar floor and bookshelves slowly disappears when the time reaches closer to sunset. The change in outside natural environment induces a play of “light” and “shadow” in the internal environment. It creates a peacefulness for the people working inside. We hope it will be a working environment of calm and peace.”