Reminiscent of a yurt, a white cylindrical house in Chiharada, Japan leans towards the traditional Japanese vernacular (light minimalist spaces) but replaces the more customary straight lines with curves. Japan-based architects Studio Velocity were instructed to design a house for a couple and their two children on a unique site in Japan – next to the children’s grandmother who lives in a more mature dwelling adjacent to the new house.
In a space that was previously used for storage and a garage, the new house challenges traditional housing conventions – having the bedrooms on the ground floor and lifting the living areas to the first. What’s more is that this compact house has not one, but four stairwells which emerge at different heights within the rounded form. These box-shaped insertions divide the spaces and create different levels and areas.
Multiple stairways are a unique component to the house, extending the architect’s appeal towards continuous living spaces: ‘By eliminating the discontinuity between multiple floors, you can create a continuous living environment,’ states the architects. Windows are placed at different heights within the stairwells, creating opportunities for light and visual connectivity to other spaces. The curvaceous exterior assists the spread of light inside through its reflective persona, promoted by skylights which allow light to drop into the double height living spaces on the upper floor.
In order to gain space from the the old building architects have opted for a round form, arranging it atop an irregular hill. The terrain creates little gardens around the curved perimeter of the house that can be directly accessed from each of the small rooms on the ground floor.
The only large room, the living room, overlooks the entire house from the first floor. The ground floor and the first floor are relatively close, with a low ceiling that divides the two levels. When the central staircase is open, the gardens can also be seen from the top level.
“The intention behind this project,” state the architects, “has been to make people able to perceive the earth and the sky at the same time and from anywhere, even if it is a multi-story building.”
Photos: Courtesy of Studio Velocity
Crescent House is a vacation home located on the slope of south Hakone Villa residence area in Atami, Japan. Designed by world renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the home offers uninterrupted scenic views of Mt.Fuji. Standing in the site, in order not to allow people to look at east, west and south sides, the idea that the crescent-shaped plan which opens up to north corresponding to the site and the cross section which looks like the “C” character( the “U” character which falls down) naturally comes up to mind right away.
In the crescent-shaped plan, there is 1,983 square feet (184 square meters) of living space with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living, dining and kitchen area, all arranged by putting furniture and volumes of utility facilities as partitions. The center of the crescent-shaped plan has a huge cantilevered roof since the cross section of that area is the deepest because of used as a living area. Although a column became necessary in order to prevent the roof from bending, a chimney of fireplace is used instead of it.
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HOSHINOYA Kyoto brings its mingling of modernity and antiquity to Arashiyama, Kyotoâ€™s most pristine retreat. Here, the authentic Ryokan experience is complemented with a discerning eye for design, structure, and most of all, comfort. Here in Kyoto Japan, if culture doesnâ€™t actually grow on trees, it certainly is made of them. Dark, rich wood is the substrate of choice when building traditional Ryokans (secluded Japanese retreats), creating a habitat that blends easily with the surrounding natural flora.
Twenty-five guestrooms look out to the Ooigawa River and groves of gnarled trees and shrubs, all in vibrant shades of green, red or brown â€” depending on the season. Rooms are decorated in 17th-century the Sukiya style, and dressed in Japanese paper patterning. Low benches and various local antiques add essential character to these otherwise minimal spaces.
Carefully considered breakfast is served in the comfort of your room in American, Continental or Japanese style. Dinner is modern Japanese, and leverages seasonal ingredients from the surrounding wilds. After any meal, its best practice to retire and digest in either the modern library or traditional water garden. Of course, while in Kyoto, itâ€™s critical to get outside the confines of your home away from home. Bamboo forests, Rickshaw tours and garden Kimono walks all wait just down the misty path from HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
To stay at this fabulous retreat, at a nightly rate of $767 USD, click here.
Japanese architects Suppose Design Office have designed a unique home in Nagoya, Japan with a garden room in the middle of the house. The home has been sited on a narrow plot surrounded by neighboring houses. Fulfilling the clientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wishes for a vibrant garden, the architects incorporated one into the design scheme by adding a garden room bordering the main living space. The goal of the interior design was to treat the garden spaces as any other space in the home. Merging outdoor elements with indoor elements, paintings are incorporated in the garden areas and rocks and flowerbeds extend into the living spaces. The designers hoped that by periodically planting new foliage into the garden would keep the interiors continually fresh and updated.