Apartment with a Shoji

Inspired by her love of books and her time in Japan, architect and engineer Marlice Alfera from studio Maaxi redesigned her 19th-century 25-square-metre apartment to facilitate her need for more living space and a dedicated place to work.

Reducing the size of the apartment’s bedroom by encapsulating it in a shoji-inspired box allowed her to add a new workspace including a concealed desk and additional storage.

Constructing the box from plastic panelling and plywood cleats also allows light to still pass through to the now enclosed bedroom.

This also facilitated the expansion of the living area, adding a low bench that functions as both a TV stand and storage unit and an enormous shelving unit to display Marlise’s collection of books.

A new kitchen featuring a full complement of hidden appliances was then built into the nook created next to the bookshelf. With her frugal approach to redesigning the space, Marlise’s work on Apartment with a Shoji shows how much is possible even on a smaller budget.

Photos by Marion Péhée