House in Nishimikuni by Arbol

Rectilinear planes define the composition of the house.

OSAKA – Arbol recently completed House in Nishimikuni in Osaka, Japan.

The single-storey house is built on a site surrounded by tall buildings.

The choice for a single-storey house was determined by the site allowances and because it was designed for an older, retired couple whose lifestyle is better suited to a stair-less dwelling.

According to the architects, the main design consideration was ´how to use the outer space of the house´ to maintain privacy on site. A desire for privacy led to the interior of the building is surrounded by the protective shell of a wooden wall and closed to the exterior. There was concern about protecting the house from the proverbial "eye" from the neighbouring park and apartment buildings. Narrow, vertical openings in one part of the wooden fence provides ventilation and a visual connection to the outside.

Small gardens allow a relationship between the interior and the outdoors, which is emphasised by a the same material – cedar wood – being used in the house and in the garden. This choice of material contrasts sharply with the concrete and plaster of the rest of the neighbourhood and accentuates that the house is customised, as opposed to the neighbouring constructions.

Traditional Japanese design elements are infused into the contemporary house - tatami mats are used on floors, a chabudai dining table is integrated into the living space and glass doors can be interpreted as a contemporary reinterpretation of shōji, traditional sliding screens.

Photos courtesy of Yasunori Shimomura

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