A Peep into the Cupboard-Like Flats of Tokyo | Surfaces Reporter

Japanese styled compact spaces

We are all aware of the Japanese styled compact spaces but have you heard of Tokyo’s cupboard sized apartments? Built out of the need to provide living spaces for working professionals at a reasonable rate, Tokyo-based real estate developer Spilytus launched Ququri (pronounced as ku-ku-ri) apartments. The demand for affordable housing is on the rise, especially in areas where commuters are easily connected to their offices, markets, schools and event centres.

Established in 2014, Keisuke Nakama, CEO, Spilytus desired to support young people who are working hard in Tokyo by providing them houses by creating an apartment that meets the needs of investors and residents. To curb daily office commute and excessive rent which he experienced in his early days of professional life, Nakama worked on Spilytus’ Ququri apartments which are downright tiny. Read more on Surfaces Reporter (SR)

Create a highly personalized and cozy environment with no wasted space in Spilytus’ Ququri apartments.

A matter of size

Although this housing typology is not for everyone, it simply suits some people. It looks relatively smaller in size than a regular apartment seen around the world. However, it probably looks quite spacious and sufficient for people who grew up in Japan.

Ququri means cocoon in greek. Spread over 9 m², its ceiling has been raised up to create a loft. Despite its smaller size, these apartments are cozier than other tiny apartments that one may come across in the country. Measured in jo – a traditional Japanese unit of area that’s equal to the size of one tatami mat – Ququri is a three tatami mat apartment.

With the rent as low as 20,000 to 30,000 yen in areas such as Ebisu, Nakameguro, and Shinjuku where there is demand for housing all year round, these apartments are very popular among youngsters. Reports suggest, 90 per cent of its tenants are youngsters ranging between the age group of 20-30 years of age. Surprisingly, 40 per cent of Ququri residents are women.

The exterior view: Spilytus has established over 1000 units in Tokyo's 70 buildings spread across Ebisu, Nakameguro and Shinjuku where there is a demand for housing all year round.

Location. Location. Location

One of the many factors for these apartments being a hit among the young crowd is its location. These lines of apartments are close to some of Tokyo’s busiest downtown districts. With easy rail connectivity, nearby schools and office, and access to entertainment cultural event centres, Ququri’s 60 per cent of residents are office workers and another 30 per cent students.

Other than location, another driving factor is the low rent. Reportedly, the rent of these apartments is as low as 50,000 yen for a month. The apartments do not require deposit or lease renewal fee, key money or any pre-move in fees, which generally costs nearly four month’s rent at many Japanese apartments.

The cupboard-like house includes in-built free internet connection, auto lock, AC, delivery box and indoor washing machine.

Minimalism at its best

Although everything in the room is within an arm’s reach, they are quaint and cozier. Thereby, making daily life more efficient. The space works well if used creatively, keeping in mind a minimalist lifetsyle. Each room comes with a loft, which is transformed into a bedroom like space by most of the residents. The loft measures up to 4 jo. This allows them to use the floor space for setting up non-sleeping furniture.

Composed of indoor washing machine, cooking space, a private bathroom and shower, and a studio living area, these houses report high satisfaction among its residents. Its other facilities include auto lock, AC, delivery box and built-in free internet. It is a perfect size house for single living. Some of its luxurious dimensions also include a walk-in closet.

Many residents avoid the use of table and chairs as the furniture takes up lot of the floor space. If you are a person who can easily and quick adapt to the minimalist lifestyle, then this is the space for you. Create a highly personalized and cozy environment with no wasted space in Spilytus’ Ququri apartments.

That said, with the aim to build what he wished he had – an inexpensive, modern apartment with basic facilities, closer to work – Nakam’s Spilytus has established over 1000 units in 70 buildings. Reportedly, the demand for these apartments in on the rise, with a long waiting list due to lack of vacancies.

Spread over 9 m², the tiny apartment also comprises a private bathroom and shower.
Despite its size, the house also features a cooking space beside the living room area. Many residents avoid the use of table and chairs as the furniture takes up a lot of the floor space.
The space works well if used creatively. Each room comes with a loft, which is transformed into a bedroom-like space by most of the residents.

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