Home Design Japan – Japanese architect Kohei Yukawa designed a house for himself and his family on the outskirts of Osaka, with flexible living spaces arranged around a double-height atrium with a tree in the middle.
Yukawa, co-founder of Yukawa Design Lab, designed Margin House to meet the unique conditions of the urban area in the city of Ibaraki, north of Osaka.
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Above: Margin House is located on the outskirts of Osaka. Top image: arranged around a double-height atrium
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The front of the house faces straight onto a side road, while the back is a small agricultural plot. The inclusion of voids and openings, described by the architect as “margins,” connects the building to the city, sky, and neighboring fields.
“We aimed to create a house where the environment – light, wind, greenery, color and activity – responds to the living space by creating a boundary of circulation between private roads,” explains Yukawa. , fields and the interior of the house”.
The driveway on the side of the house creates a semi-public area connecting the private road with the farming space behind.
A screened entrance under a cantilevered canopy leads from the driveway to the atrium, where full-height windows offer views of the adjacent fields and sky.
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A wooden staircase ascends through the atrium to the first floor, where large cathedral windows overlooking the street provide the final connection between the interior and the outside world.
The house is completely covered in galvanized metal and has three roofs sloping in two different directions. The central section is finished with standing seam panels also used for the entrance canopy.
The arrangement of the volumes creates spaces with higher ceilings on the side facing the courtyard. The flow of movement between different areas is emphasized by the way the light streaming through the large windows interacts with the carefully selected material palette.
“By providing windows in the side lines and using materials that respond to light and color – such as metal ceilings, shoji screens and transparent polycarbonate – light, shadow, greenery and color Color changes from time to time can be introduced into the habitat from private roads and fields,” Yukawa added.
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A tree planted in the atrium will enhance the feeling of bringing the outdoors in, drawing the eye to the first floor.
The split-level space containing plants is based on the “doma” rooms found in traditional Japanese homes. These areas of compacted soil form a boundary between inside and outside and are used for activities including cooking or as a workspace.
Yukawa’s indoor Doma space is designed as a multi-purpose area for activities such as homework, children’s play, exhibitions and indoor barbecues.
The architect affirms: “Unexpectedly, during the Covid-19 period, we were able to respond to changes in lifestyle by using the internal domain to demonstrate the wonderful effect of the margin in the house” .
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“In addition, because of amplitude, we can walk around the house, feel the changes of time and season, and can maintain a calm and rich life without feeling congested.” .”
Doma takes up most of the ground floor, with the main living space upstairs. The kitchen and dining area is located on one side of the central staircase, with the living room on the other side of this open space.
The first floor also has a traditional Japanese tatami room that can be separated from the rest of the space by sliding shoji curtains.
Other residences built around trees include a house in Tel Aviv with a eucalyptus tree in the middle of its facade and a vacation home in Mexico surrounded by trees. This family home in Japan’s Shiga prefecture was designed by local studio Hearth Architects around a planted indoor garden that extends all the way to the skylight.
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Kyomachi House is located in Koga, a city in southern Shiga Prefecture. The settlement is located within the old boundaries of the town of Minakuchi, which was merged with four other towns in 2004 to form Koga City.
The town dates back to the 14th century, when it was established as one of the stations along the route from Kyoto to Edo, known as the 53 stages of Tokaido.
Hearth Architects, also based within the old boundaries of Minakuchi, designed the two-story residence for a site where two roads merge to the southeast.
To make the most of this sunny location, the architects created a double-height void for the indoor garden.
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A roof skylight on the curved plot in the center of the space, contains a variety of plants and trees, surrounded on one side by gravel.
High rough walls surrounding the garden give residents privacy from the street, with two natural ventilation holes.
One of them is located in front of the house and is equipped with a lattice wooden screen that provides a view of the tree from the street. On the other side there is a wooden bench sheltered by the overhanging roof that surrounds the house.
The interior walls of the garden are also equipped with openings to provide views from the interior spaces to the garden and access to daylight.
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When a deciduous tree sheds its leaves in winter, it lets more light into the home, and when it thrives in summer, it provides shade.
“It acts as a sunscreen in leafy summers and lets in sunlight in leafless winters,” says the studio. “Customers can enjoy the changing seasons and times through the iconic tree.”
One of these openings includes sliding doors that connect the garden to the family dining room, which has wooden floors that mimic a paneled ceiling.
The kitchen is located at the back of the space, with stairs leading to the white painted living room. This room has a narrow courtyard window and a street-facing window with a ledge where the homeowner’s children can sit.
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Wooden panels are arranged to form a grid on the floor, while furniture includes built-in sofas and storage cabinets.
The staircase, lit by two-story windows cut into the front of the house, leads to the first floor, where the two children’s bedrooms look out into the distance.
Also on this floor, the master bedroom opens to an indoor balcony overlooking the garden. From the balcony, a second window with sliding shutters faces the street.
Other recently completed Japanese residences include a house measuring just 60 square meters and a block of nine blocks. For those who love minimalism and comfort, Japanese style will be the ideal design solution. It combines ease and simplicity, brevity and naturalness.
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Inspired by natural landscapes, thanks to 3d interior design software, one can create a Japanese style for their apartment. The use of light shades is not the only difference in this style.
In apartments of this style you can find stairs and other furniture that perform various functions. This way it saves space. The Japanese often suggest getting rid of bulky furniture in the house. The typical bed for a Japanese bedroom has no legs and low furniture. Therefore, chairs, tables, sofas do not have high legs.
Natural materials and shades are used for finishing. Large and wide windows, often without curtains, help expand the space and fill the room with light. Bamboo sliding partitions are used instead of doors. They create a privacy effect without cluttering the space.
Monochrome walls are also a characteristic of Japanese style. Plastering or painting in one tone without a clear texture is the best solution. For floors, only use wooden floors. It is allowed to use tiles imitating stone for the kitchen or bathroom. The ceiling of the Japanese-style room is combined with the wall; it can be fabric or wood or painted like the walls.
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As for lighting, pendant and floor lamps should be made of fabric, glass or paper. A laconic form is maintained in any element. Unfortunately, there are very few textiles in Japanese interiors, mainly coarse fabrics. For the bedroom, one-color linen or cotton bed linen of light tones is used.
Stone or clay vases, paintings in a suitable style, paper lanterns or dwarf plants in pots can be used as accessories.
Japanese design is a combination of ethnic and modern, a balance between simplicity and comfort. The main task of the designer is the functionality of all elements and preservation of space. Inspired by Japanese design principles, Japan House is a finely crafted pavilion that complements the 1920s California Bungalow on Sydney’s north shore – a refined structure that cleverly combines Natural materials, lighting and landscaping.
The clients approached Sandbox Studio with a desire to increase the scale and comfort of their living spaces, while drawing on passive design principles to heat and cool the home. Although building a second floor is an obvious solution,
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