Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

• July 16, 2011

This is a project where the lighting is a means of defining space in a subtle way. You have the adjustable light bubble as cloud in the space and as cloud is a sign of rain, coolness etc, so does the light bubble help in creating emotions to the room.

Bubble AOAD pM 600x444 Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

Bubble, image courtesy AOAD


This project was a renovation type for an apartment in the heart of Tokyo. The client’s request was to have 3 existing rooms: 2 bedrooms and an enclosed kitchen combined into one spacious room as LDK. The combining of the rooms was not a challenge, the challenge was how to deal with the now too spacious a room to feel the intimacy of the space. What I did was consult the ceiling to help create temporary territories. The new big space is for living, dining and kitchen; I therefore had 3 light enclaves (what I call the bubbles) in the ceiling that would help define the 3 function elements of the room. These bubbles about 1.2m in the longest side are visible from any corner of the house. They therefore act as space definers and also as softeners of the rigid architectural walls.

Bubble AOAD pM 23 600x809 Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

Bubble, image courtesy AOAD

Roppongi Hills is a neighborhood where an international atmosphere permeates the air and people from all over the world meet and mingle. Here is the cultural heart of Tokyo, including the Mori Arts Center, shopping that ranges from luxury brands to casual cafes, a TV network headquarters, a 9-screen premier cinema complex, and a luxury, five-star hotel. Plus a clinic and childcare center, banks, and a post office; everything you need is close at hand.

Floor plan before after 600x362 Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

Bubble, image courtesy AOAD

The apartment before was used by an elder person therefore the house had handrails on most walls. These were all taken out due to their lack of importance for the relatively young family. Another major change was on the bathroom area where one extra shower and 2 toilets were added.

Bubble AOAD pM 03 600x444 Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

Bubble, image courtesy AOAD

Bubble AOAD pM 17 600x444 Bubble | Dick Olango / AOAD

Bubble, image courtesy AOAD

+ About Dick Olango

Dick Olango is a Kenyan Architect with a Japanese Architect’s license, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Department of Architecture of Tokyo Metropolitan University, and recently completed an Executive Education program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He gained professional experience working for various firms in Japan, including renowned firms, Architecture-lab and Honda Architecture Studio and served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Nippon Engineering College in Hachioji, Japan. His designs include residential projects, commercial complex and interior design. He is the Principal Architect at AOAD an architectural firm in Tokyo collaborating with firms in Japan and in Kenya.

+ Project credits / data

Title: Bubble
Location: Roppongi Hills Residence 12F, Tokyo, JAPAN
Function: Residential apartment
Area: 100.0sqm
Architect: Dick Olango/ AOAD
Project Manager: Yuko Yamada
Photo: Yamamoto Ikunori/TRANSPARENCY
Design period: Jun-Nov,2010
Construction period: March,2011-June,2011
Client: T
Construction: Axis Inc
Special mention: Housing Japan

+ All images and drawing courtesy Dick Olango / AOAD

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Category: Interior

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