The external space will collect attention from outside.”

Inside, more timber boarding covers a partition wall reminiscent of a garden fence, which sits between the main styling area and the hair-washing space and stockroom. It leads up to an open-plan living room and kitchen with white walls, wooden floors and angular ceiling beams. “To characterise the building as a store, it needed to hold a commercial presence,” said Koase. Beyond the living room, a bedroom is tucked away at the back and a ladder leads up to the large loft that can be used as a playroom or as a second living room. The lower floor of this live-work building in Japan was designed by architects SNARK and OUVI as a barber shop, while the upper level contains an apartment featuring   a spacious loft (+ slideshow). The barber shop features a wooden clapboard facade that spans the width of one wall, while the rest of the building is clad with overlapping sheets of metal that follow the same proportions. “From the windows upstairs, residents are able to see the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains – Akagisan, Asamayama, and Myougisan,” added Koase. “The second floor has a hardly visible opening, preventing the passers-by from seeing inside,” said Koase. The two-storey-high building occupies a triangular roadside plot on the outskirts of   Takasaki, a city in Gunma Prefecture. A selection of plants are dotted through the salon, while the timber ceiling beams have been left exposed overhead. SNARK’s Sunao Koase and Shin Yokoo of OUVI – whose previous collaborations include a bronze-coloured house and a pair of apartment blocks – designed different facades for the residential and commercial parts of the building. Windows have been added sparingly in the apartment, with many concentrated along the roofline. “Therefore, we decided to make the whole architecture as a sign. Bathroom and wardrobe spaces are fronted by sliding doors to save space.

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