SHIGA – House of Silence was designed by Japanese architect Kouichi Kimura to stand out from the environment of its location in Shiga, Japan.
A concrete volume composed of high, closed walls with few windows hides an open, bright and spacious interior. This way, contrast exists not only between the building and its surroundings, but also between the immobile solidity of the outside and the continuous fluidity of the inside.
The shape of the exterior does, however, give away the variety of structural distributions within the interior spaces. Here, the rooms are divided by ceiling heights, different floor levels and types of light instead of walls. This creates a continuity from one living space to another that resembles the unbroken passage of time.
The 321-sq-m house exists both as a landmark and a fortress of privacy for its residents. Its inner court, for instance, is completely cut out from the outside world.
Photos courtesy of Takumi Ota and Kei Nakajima