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House in Nagahama: round and round we go

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In Shiga, Japan there’s a residence that has something animalistic about it…I’m talking about its anthropomorphic volume and shape, an enclosed spiral movement that reminds a sleeping cat. In fact, Japanese culture has numerous examples of carving wooden cats that appeared lifelike in various shapes. House in Nagahama is positioned in a residential area resembling one of these sculptures, only on a larger scale with a total floor area of 133sqm distributed in two levels. Continue reading

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Outdoor House: illuminate the dark

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Contemporary Japanese Architecture often has the ability to transform dull sites into amazing spots. In Tokyo, Japan there’s a small building that supports this rare quality: Outdoor House. A two-story building with a total floor area of 72sqm is located on a tiny residential plot stacked between two existing volumes. Its bright white appearance seems to illuminate the dark suburban area while keeping interiors airy yet private. Continue reading

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House in Hiyoshi: little white wonder

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In Kanagawa, Japan contemporary architecture shows us once again how to make the best with a tiny plot of land in a tight suburban area. House in Hiyoshi incarnates the impossible architectonic answer to a difficult surrounding context: a residential district and a station on the south side and a city park on the north side confines an irregular site plan. A two-story building with a total floor area of 91.10sqm assumes a solid white presence, closed out from all sides, except for a surprising huge window to the outside world… Continue reading

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Small House: size doesn’t matter

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In Aichi, Japan there’s an enigmatic building called Small House. Apparently, this single-story volume conceals the required domestic program for a couple in their 50’s. A total floor area of 80sqm demonstrates the veracity behind the genesis of its name: Small House. Don´t be fooled by the scale and size of this contemporary residence for there’s a bunch of details that transform it into a real inhabitable diamond. Continue reading

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House in Nada: beautifully abstract

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In Hyogo, Japan a multi-level house beautifully defies a challenging space in a deep tight site. House in Nada is a small single family home distributed in three levels occupying a total floor area of 63sqm. Nothing is what it seems inside this vertical building… Continue reading

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House in Sanbonmatsu: a carved courtyard

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Architecture is often similar to a sculptural exercise…House in Sanbonmatsu reveals this kind of resemblance. In Kagawa, Japan a two-story house occupies a site around twice the dimension of neighboring properties, so a gently sloping roof was developed in order to minimize the volume impact. Removed sections of this roof demonstrate the sculptural influences behind the design process, creating a central void for an open-air courtyard. A vibrant volumetric appearance seems to be perfectly merged in this suburban residential area. Continue reading

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House in Yoro: an architectonic metamorphosis

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House in Yoro testifies a truly architectonic metamorphosis! In Gifu, Japan a small two-story warehouse, with a total floor area of 132sqm, was transformed into a contemporary residence full of spatial surprises. Continue reading

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House in Muko: filtering reality through vertical concrete bars

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In Kyoto, Japan a sculptural volume assumes an intriguing presence in the suburb context of Muko. A two-story building stands perfectly disguised behind a wall of concrete vertical bars with a total floor area of 100sqm. This sort of formal mask contributes to its enigmatic appearance while creating the perfect filter from the street. Actually, the main facade curves around the south-east edge of the building to track the shape of a road running alongside. Continue reading

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Fukasawa House: earthquake proof

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Columns are a structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of a structure to other structural elements below. Although its fundamental functionality, columns are also an opportunity for architects to achieve a distinctive spatial quality for any kind of building. The design of the Fukasawa House exquisitely shows how to utilize this element inside a home. Continue reading

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Northern Nautilus: further down the spiral

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A minimal house in Hokkaido, Japan demonstrates the infinite power of simplicity to achieve beauty in architecture. Northern Nautilus testifies another inspirational journey through natural elements to obtain a unique design for a house on a town hill. Its unusual name results from its spiral shape that responds to a desired view over the surrounding park. Continue reading