The Peek-a-Boo Building

Ellysa Chenery Ellysa Chenery
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Today's architectural wonder is a little beauty from across the ocean. It's a commercial building that is designed to draw in some bustling customers with its unique and bright design. Artect Design built this single floor gem in Fukuoka, Japan, for some very happy owners. There were two substantial challenges that the architects had to overcome to make this space feel bright and airy. First, the building is quite small, it barely exceeds 20 square metres. Second, the business required a store front that's completely separated from the second space, for the customer's privacy. How do you incorporate two distinct uses into welcoming and comfortable rooms? Let's find out.

Simple and Stylish

This neutral business front avoids any tacky signs or blinding colours. Instead, the simple white and brown materials and plain textures lets the charming windows draw a customer's attention. It's an appealing strategy that reflects well on the business and puts out some stylish modern vibes. The asymmetry of the windows, and their different sizes, play along the dark background unpredictably, drawing our eye. The white under-roof provides the stark contrast that collects the odd windows and makes the building feel singular and even more unique. It's a well-planned and executed exterior. 

Flipped Contrast

Where before the dominant colour was brown, when you walk closer to the front door your find yourself surrounded by white walls. The ceiling and inner walls are brown, and this reversal of colour draws you in yet again. The flooring keeps with the overall theme of simple and square. The modern pot lights above the front door are a cute touch and an easy way to add to the modern style. Simple modern lighting always makes a statement, and if you're looking to touch up your own entry way you can find more examples here

Welcoming Waiting Area

Immediately upon entering this room you notice the amazing ambience the designers achieved. Brightness pours through the open windows on each side of the building and the white walls, ceiling, and furniture reflect it all. The dark grey desk may seem like an odd choice but it anchors a visitor's vision quite nicely. If customers need to speak to the secretary to sign in they know exactly where to go, the dark desk orients them to the space. With all of this simple light and dark contrast, you'd think the space might be boring, but those pops of primary colours in the shelving provide that needed touch of character. 

Warm Work Space

You can't tell by looking at it, but the designers might have had a problem with the actual work space. With so many white elements in the room, especially on the walls and ceilings, they risked making the place seem clinical and stiff. That wouldn't be a great environment to try to relax in. But the designers perfectly countered it with the soft orange furniture and warm wood flooring. With these new colours, the mix of that light is put to a new purpose, giving the space a warm glow. 

The Sweet Details

Lets take a second look at that shelving unit for a moment. There's some genius here, turning the necessary room divider into a dual-purpose storage space. But that's not all, those primary coloured screens let the all-important light shine through in both rooms. The tiny plants and clock accessory provide something sweet to look at, but their asymmetrical arrangement is reminiscent of the window arrangement. In this one room, all of the features of the space pull wonderfully together.  

Glowing Exterior

We can't help but take a final peek at that charming exterior, this time at night when it has an even more dramatic impact. Exteriors set the tone and first impressions of any kind of building, and we have plenty more fantastic examples with unexpected designs.

How do you make the most of the natural light in your home? Let us know in the comments!
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