Garden Tree House: an architectonic homage for trees

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A house extension gives shelter to trees that felled in order to allow its construction – Is there something more inspirational and poetic than this? In Kagawa, Japan a two-story extension occupies the garden of a 35-year-old family house, serving as a home for the owner’s daughter. The two trees were positioned in the only available spot for the new construction, which lead to an unusual yet brilliant solution: the trees were dried up to become a living part of the interior of the house extension. That’s why the name of the building is so enigmatic: Garden Tree House. Continue reading

House M: a folded Japanese architecture

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Do you know what Kura means to Japanese architecture? Kura is a traditional Japanese storehouse. Its typology commonly corresponds to durable buildings built from timber, stone or clay used to safely store valuable commodities. House M works as a modern interpretation of such an ancient building tradition, placed in Ishikawa in a tiny gap between the national road and the city limits. Continue reading

Mascara House: a house with wings

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In Hamamatsu City, Japan there is a house with wings…figuratively speaking, of course! Mascara House is a two-story building that seems to result as a mixture between a boat and a tower volume. An exquisite formal balance is brilliantly achieved by a middle section that stands lifted off the ground and is curved like the hull of a boat. Continue reading

House H: Y-shaped inhabitable forest

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Structural solutions always play a decisive role when it comes to defining a space in architecture. Both aesthetic and functional values of any kind of building are deeply connected to such a challenging task…In Chiba, Japan House H proves how powerful a structural design can be when presenting an enigmatic character: Y-shaped wooden columns sustain rooms and lofts at diverse levels in a two-story volume with 64sqm of built area. The internal atmosphere of this tiny family house irradiates an unlimited sense of serenity provided by the relation established between structure, program and inhabitants. Continue reading

Meme Meadows Experimental House: gathering around a fireplace

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Cold climates and a fireplace… There’s a very special experimental house in Hokkaido, Japan conceived to test the limits of domestic architecture in extreme cold conditions. Meme Meadows is a single story translucent cabin with 79sqm of constructed area developed from a traditional example of the indigenous Ainu, whose buildings were clad with bamboo grass in order to hold in the heat of a central fireplace that was never allowed to burn out. A contemporary approach turns an ancient concept into a modern residence capable of resisting the most defying context: snow, ice and negative temperatures. Let’s unravel the mystery behind this particular experimental house. Continue reading

MYZ Nest: perfectly settled in rice fields

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When architecture follows nature’s example in a successful way the outcome is always surprisingly efficient and discrete. A perfect example of such delicate operation stands erected in Matsumoto, Japan. It’s called MYZ Nest and the name clearly reveals what kind of Nature’s source is behind this small, unique project. A mysterious bright building contrast with the green rice fields that surround it: a single plan conceals the whole domestic program distributed in a total floor area of 97sqm. In order to take advantage from the natural topography, the house is partially sunken into the ground with excavated soil built up around one facade for a better insulation, similar to a rabbit’s warren. Continue reading

House in Yamasaki: three volumes for a plinth house

An enigmatic architecture is always full of mystery and complexity… In this particular case, nothing is what is seems: a composition of three volumes – similar to the traditional pitched roof house – rests above a single inhabitable platform, giving body to a house for a family with two children. Continue reading

Ogikubo House: solving a puzzle

The following project deserves a brief introduction, merely because its conceptual design is quite similar to solving a puzzle. A puzzle tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to put together pieces in a logical way in order to come up with the desired solution.

In Tokyo, Japan there are several urban restrictions that can put to the test both client and architect capacities: high land prices and laws that regulate construction on small sites. Ogikubo House is a three-story building, with a small floor area of 117sqm, that responds to such a daring challenge in the most enigmatic way. Continue reading

Onjuku Surf Shack: there’s a black house over yonder

A weekend house by the sea – who wouldn’t love to have one? In Chiba, Japan there’s a black building called Onjuku Surf Shack made for a Tokyo-based couple that wanted a second home near the Pacific ocean. Continue reading

House Yagiyama: a fortress for retirement

A house has a primary function of shelter and refuge, protecting its inhabitants from the outside world. This concept of asylum can also be seen in the animal world, especially the turtle case. A full-bodied shell guarantees the safety of the turtle while providing a strong visual appearance. In Miyagi, Japan there’s a unique residence that assembles the concept of this peculiar creature: House Yagiyama. Continue reading