Naoki Terada is the President, COO of Inter Office Co. Ltd., specializing in high-end furniture from around the world. Mr. Terada is also an architect and designer, who created the “Terada House”, a modern masterpiece full of furniture that creates an optimistic atmosphere.
The Terada House, completed in the summer of 2021, is home to architect Naoki Terada. It is filled with bright colours and the space is lined with historic furniture, reflecting his taste. One large wall is tilted inwards at an angle with a light spiral staircase extending upstairs towards Verner Panton’s Living Tower masterpiece. Featured below is an orange USM Haller kitchen counter, which was decided upon from the beginning of the design plans.
“When designing this house, the rule was to incorporate off-the-shelf furniture instead of built-in furniture. Normally, we would consider building furniture, but we chose the furniture with the same consideration and importance as the architecture. Once the location of the kitchen was determined, the position and size of the USM Haller kitchen counter was easy.”
— Naoki Terada
“The biggest issue with the USM Haller kitchen counter was the colour. First, we chose the red Living Tower for the upper floor, then yellow for the background wall, and because it would be positioned underneath, orange a complementary colour was chosen. Actually, in consideration of colour compatibility, the yellow of the upper floor wall was matched with USM Haller yellow, and the white walls were matched with the USM Haller white.”
Mr. Terada has used USM products for a long time, not only as Inter Office products, but also for his workspace and home. He uses this experience to design unique, purpose-built pieces.
“The USM Haller in this room has parts added to the bottom to raise it 10cm. It has a lighter effect and the advantage of being easier to clean, the extra height allows easy access for vacuum cleaners. Also, an artificial marble plate was cut to fit and added as a countertop.”
— Naoki Terada
The top shelves of the three tier kitchen counter displays crystal glasses, enclosed by glass doors on both sides. By using a combination of shelves and organisers, tableware, kitchen tools, and food are easily stored on the kitchen side, creating an easy-to-use counter.
“The second and third tiers have a standard height of 35cm, but the first tier with glass is 25cm high. The change was added so it doesn’t look monotonous. I thought about how to make the glass panels and doors interesting, so a transparent orange film was added only on the kitchen side.”
Next to the kitchen is a USM Haller cabinet that is the same height as the kitchen counter. The first tier with glass and Haller E built-in LED lights resembles an aquarium and is lined with numerous spotted garden eel dolls that his daughter loves. The second tier has four extension shelves to store personal items for the three family members, and one shelf as a charging station. The third tier with a door stores manuals for home appliances and documents related to the house. The 10cm box attached behind is space to store charging cords.
“A dead space is created because the back wall is angled, and I used that gap,” says Mr. Terada. Space is used efficiently like a puzzle.
The second floor furniture layout can be seen well from the third floor up the spiral staircase. On the right side is the modular sofa “Miffy” designed by Mr. Terada for this house. The dining table and chairs are Eero Saarinen’s 1950s Pedestal Collection, and the chairs known as Tulip Chairs are especially famous. Furthermore, alongside the left wall, is a white USM Haller sideboard. The wall behind the white USM Haller is significantly tilted, which is a major feature of this house.
“This building is a two-family house where my family lives on the second and third floor and my parents plan to live on the first floor. Our daily lives are separate, but living under one roof, I wanted the whole house to cohesive. So, I created a “mechanism” to create a slanted wall from the first floor, up to the roof top. Then, a mysterious perspective was created on the inside, which in turn created many new details to consider. I really enjoyed the unexpected challenges as an architect. The dead space created by the tilted wall is one of them. So I decided to place a USM Haller sideboard raised by 10cm off the floor, along the tilted wall and used Haller E lighting in the frame to illuminate the wall.”
The first floor living and dining room where Mr. Terada’s parents will live, has two walls made mostly of USM Haller. The rule to not use built-in furniture is applied on this floor as well.
“The entrance to the bedroom was built to suit the size of USM Haller. I’ve been using Haller for 20 years, so I used some of those parts and reassembled it with new additional parts. The pottery my father collects as a hobby also looks great when displayed by Haller E lighting.”
— Naoki Terada
Mr. Terada’s USM Haller style is having each tier with the same, such as a tier with doors, a Haller E lighting tier, and an open tier. The first floor USM haller is assembled in an L shape that also serves as a partition between the kitchen and the living room. The other first-floor room doubles as an atelier for his father, whose hobby is painting.
USM Haller was used to hide the air conditioning unit which was installed under a beam on the ceiling. It is covered with a perforated panel and there are no panels covering the air outlet. By perfectly matching the beam size with USM Haller, it is completely hidden.
“The accuracy was difficult because the slightest deviation would not allow the furniture to fit with the air conditioning unit and the height of the beam. USM Haller is special after all. There are infinite possibilities with ingenuity.”
The living / dining room on the second floor also has an air conditioner hidden inside USM Haller. It is a great advantage and technique that is barely noticed, unless you know where to look.
For the interior of this house, Mr. Terada incorporated furniture and lighting pieces from the mid-20th century when the future was considered bright and optimistic. Furniture designers born around this era include Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen, and USM Haller.
“However, instead of recreating a mid-century space, I am conscious of how it’s used in the current sense. I am not a furniture collector and thinking of how to incorporate furniture from 50 years ago into the modern lifestyle requires creativity. Within that process, there were many realisations on how well the furniture of that era was designed.”
Architecture & Design: TERADA HIRATE SEKKEI
USM Sales Partner: USM Tokyo Showroom
Photographer: Tadahiko Nagata