Windows by 加藤淳一級建築士事務所

The modest Asian home perfect for a family

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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For many people, the most desirable trait in a family home is a sense of stability. This kind of home is commonly built with sturdy materials that will withstand the knocks and bumps of small children without looking too easily worn. It is also designed with an eye on the future. A growing family really needs a layout that can withstand the changing needs of family life over many years.

So when architect Atsushi Kato was commissioned to design a family home in an earthquake-prone area of Japan, he decided to create a flexible design in many senses of the work. Let's have a look in photos and explore all the details…

L-shaped design

The two-level home has an L-shaped design. This creates some flexibility so the home can withstand seismic stress. This kind of configuration also acts as a sort of embrace around the garden or courtyard area. It almost turns this area into a third living space in the home.

Lush natural ambience

The home has a relatively modest garden area, but it is definitely brimming with a very lush natural ambience. This gives the family a good outdoor area to enjoy and also imbues the home with an earthy, friendly feel. Note how the basic elements here are very functional. There are pavers on the ground and the area is fairly built-up. Despite all this, the natural timber accents and profuse greenery really define the look and feel of the exterior.

Large openings to the outdoor areas

The outdoor area also functions as parking space for two cars. But with lots of greenery, the car here is fairly obscured. What really strikes us here are the large openings on this side of the home. The line between indoor and outdoor life is certainly blurred. It's interesting to see the smooth transition points against the simple wooden supporting beams and uncluttered wooden floor.

Minimalist Japanese style interior

The home has a typically minimalist Japanese interior with shoji or rice paper walls separating the living spaces. These cover large portions of the walls and can be used to completely open or close the spaces up when needed. This kind of layout is a traditional Japanese approach to flexible living. It's perfect for those with small children.

Unusual curved corners

We love the curved corner in this ceiling! It has a beautiful round window that allows an almost ethereal light to enter the space. This area of the home has tatami mats and would typically used as a living area. Let's have a look at some more unique features created by the unusual roof design…

Secret playroom

On the upper level we have a space that is sure to be a hit with young children. It could be a sleeping alcove, a play space or even a little reading nook. As seen in many Japanese homes, this area has a natural, minimalist aesthetic. Furniture is often quite sparse and the natural textures and architectural features of the room are meant to remain the true focus. In this area, the slant of the roof and the knots in the timber give the space a very playful, cosy feel.

If the outdoor areas have got you interested in building up your garden, have a look at 9 backyard ideas to copy right now!

What do you think of the special features in this home?
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