Taking a corner allotment and turning it into a place of privacy is no easy thing, but architect Tabata Sekkei has managed to do this and more. He has created a family home with a private facade that opens up into a bright, playful place for children.
This Japanese home is built on a mere 46 square meters, but with a second level this expands the floor space to just over 150 square meters. Even so, it's a very clever design because the architect has managed to squeeze in a pool, a large garage, an atrium, a small Zen garden and an open deck space.
The home has been called Shinmachi House and offers a cool, contemporary style all of its own. Come with us for a tour of its features.
The exterior of this home has a modern, contemporary, Japanese style. It is simple, geometric and private, but offers an approachable facade. The upper level is a rectangular box finished in dark wood panelling that contrasts well against a white tower block at the front of the home. An unobtrusive garage door is finished in wood that fits the decor.
This gorgeous square pool is a pond for goldfish, a clear attraction for small children and cools down the house on hot days. With a tree sapling as a centrepiece, it provides a great injection of nature into the home. Better yet, it can be viewed from three different rooms within the house.
This custom designed kitchen consists of a kitchen island, with a good clear view of the living room. An open plan is often great for families, because it allows the parents to work in the kitchen while keeping a close eye on small children. While white finishings dominate, the ever-present Japanese preference for wood is also present and occasional splashes of red add some lively, youthful zest.
We bet these children love this climbing wall! To make it even more popular, it leads up to a play-space on the small wooden mezzanine. Children also have the option of climbing down the ladder where underneath, the sleeping arrangements are simple with Japanese style mattresses directly on the ground.
The stairwell here with its two green plants and rocky ground could almost be classed as a minimalist Zen garden. The steps are finished in dark wood that intersect in an interesting way with the other lines in the space. A mirror wall panel on the right reflects the light from the atrium. The level of detail shown here may reflect traditional Japanese architecture that lays great emphasis on the importance of acknowledging traditional spaces within a home.
Here we come to a timber balcony or deck that lies directly above the atrium pool. As with the pool, this area can be accessed by three sides of the house. It also acts as a thoroughfare, which encourages its young occupants to embrace outdoor life. As a definite bonus for wary parents, the three surrounding rooms offer plenty of opportunity for supervision!
If you are interested in Japanese homes, you would love this Ideabook The Organic T-House.