The Secret Garden House

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Today's house holds a secret, an intriguing feature that sets it apart from all other homes in the neighbourhood. Located in Yokkaichi, within the Mie Prefecture of Japan, privacy comes at a premium. And within this bustling, busy and frenetic suburban locale, today's feature dwelling creates a veritable hideaway and retreat from the chaos. In addition to privacy and solace within the city, garden space can be few and far between as well. For most Japanese city residents, a garden is a luxury and a privilege. This minimal modernist residence solves both of these issues with a secret garden space, concealed within the four walls of the home. The garden is private, it is spacious, and it is gorgeous. 

Designed by Noriyuki Hisayasu Architects and Associates, this 88 square metre residence is a surprising and undeniably bold architectural statement. However, it is the walled rooftop garden that is the true standout feature of this house, adding a private place of enjoyment that is both versatile and unique. Secluded from the hustle and bustle of the world below, this garden-cum-courtyard creates a synergy between the architecture of the house and the natural environment. Practical, private and one-of-a-kind, this abode packs a stylistic design punch, and reinvents the concept of urban housing. 

If you would like to take a gander inside this home, check out the images below!

A modernist dream home

Situated on a gently sloping plot of land, the architects had to utilise the angle of the road to their benefit. A retaining wall holds the front garden in place, but does not leave room for a large grass area upon which to rest, relax and play. The dwelling is bold and impressive, with strong design lines adding to the cube-like form of the overall house. At the front of the home we see the entrance and large window area. Here the huge glazed windows provide ample illumination for the interior and offer a view to the neighbouring properties. A smaller area juts out from the side wall and appears hollow. This hides the interior room and offers privacy with one single window. 

The only giveaway that this home might be hiding something behind its stark white walls is the small tree that can be seen popping its head above the roof space. Let's keep moving and take a peek inside this intriguing dwelling. 

Warm and inviting interior spaces

Situated on the ground floor of the home sits the kitchen and dining area. The room is filled with different textures and tones, befitting an industrial-esque space that comes complete with exposed concrete and contemporary timber panelling. White chairs work brilliantly against the light timber toned table, while the light-fitting above reflects this contrast and enhances the character of the space.

This room is particularly light and bright, and is serviced by the light-well that doubles as a stairwell upstairs to the roof space. On the other side of this space are more sliding glass doors that further the volume of natural sunlight into the room. One of the most minimal kitchens we have witnessed, this space is replete with warmth from the timber joinery that counteracts the coldness of the exposed concrete throughout. 

The secret rooftop garden

Heading up to the secret rooftop garden we finally see the gorgeously expansive space that provides an area for children to play, or adults to socialise. This courtyard garden is safely surrounded by the walls of the home, ensuring it is a perfect area for little ones to play harmlessly. 

This rooftop oasis is wonderfully private and unbelievably large. Grass has been added to the entire space to offer an environmental and natural aesthetic within the area. Furthermore, on each surrounding wall, skylights have been installed to provide ample illumination to the rooms below. 

This impressive space is ideal for a number of purposes, but increases the dwelling's attractiveness and liveability tenfold. 

Split-level living

Taking a peek downwards towards the entrance of the light-well we can see the exposed concrete staircase and sliding glass door. The timber decking is a lovely addition that provides warmth and coordinates with the effortless natural aesthetic that is imparted throughout this rooftop. 

This stairwell is another element of privacy for the home that ensures safety for the children, and a sense of separation from the busy world beyond. 

Family-friendly domestic zones

Back inside the living room is a simple design with family-friendly features throughout. The flooring is versatile and hard-wearing, while the sliding glass doors bring a huge amount of natural light into the room. In order to further the room's feeling of spaciousness, the architects included a thin linear window that sits just between the top of the left wall and the ceiling. 

The spacious front balcony can be seen just outside of the sliding doors, offering yet another space where the dwelling is able to work cohesively with the surrounding landscape and environment. To avoid a room that feels artificially lit, the architects refrained from adding lighting to the ceiling. As an alternative they have employed subtle strip lighting to the side walls. This is far more appealing and offers delicate amber light for the evening. 

A wonderfully serene bathing space

A final peek inside the bathroom ends our tour today, but shows a space of delicate solace and relaxation. Boasting a freestanding bathtub with window views facing outwards, this is a truly lovely and modern space that is luxurious and highly practical too. 

What did you think of this home's rooftop garden? If you would like to see another fabulous Japanese dwelling, check out: Large and Luxurious Townhouse in Kawasaki, Japan

Did you enjoy this home's secret rooftop courtyard garden? Let us know what you would change or keep by leaving a comment below!
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