In Matsudo, Japan, Imai Hiroyasu has transformed a modest apartment into a sublime sanctuary for a couple and their two cats. Dubbed the Boko House, this 2022 concrete-style redesign seamlessly merges sleek human living spaces with cat-friendly features within a 65-square-meter (700-square-foot) area.

It’s a masterful example of dual-species design, where every shelf and beam becomes part of a larger, inter-species conversation, balancing aesthetics with the practicalities of a shared habitat. This apartment isn’t just a living space; it’s a thoughtfully curated environment where humans and pets coexist in harmony and comfort.

About Boko House

A Tailored Haven for Humans and Cats

In the heart of Japan, a couple and their cats enjoy a harmoniously redesigned apartment, spanning 65 square meters (700 square feet). Prioritizing both comfort and functionality, we envisioned a space that caters equally to human preferences and feline instincts.

Moreover, to foster a seamless flow, we minimized the number of rooms, creating detours that add depth and complexity to the layout. Strategically, we installed a 350 mm (13.8 inches) gap beneath fixtures and furnishings. For humans, this acts as an innovative partition, enriching spatial depth. For cats, it offers a sprawling playground and a hideaway from the bustling world above. Furthermore, this design choice improves ventilation and guides robotic cleaning devices along an unobstructed path.

Designing for Coexistence

Additionally, shelving steps and catwalks under beams provide cats with elevated pathways. Concurrently, for humans, these spyholes transform into cleverly disguised supports for electronics.

By intertwining cat-friendly elements into the architectural narrative, we’ve manifested a multifaceted environment. Here, distinct lifestyles, habits, and spaces intersect, crafting a singular, multifunctional room that’s rich in diversity and cohesion.

Photography by Tomoyuki Kusunose, Hiroyasu Imai

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