On today's 360°, we look at a spacious Japanese family home that braids Asian-inspired elements with eclectic design. Designed by the Tokyo-based architecture firm Atelier Bricolage this home takes you through its elegant passages where you can wander around and marvel at its many small details.
It might seem like an oxymoron – eclectic Japanese design – considering how minimal Japanese aesthetics normally are. But here, the architects extract the best from both design schools – the extensive use of wood from the Japanese camp and the mixing of materials characteristic of eclectic design – and blend them to craft a home that is at once gorgeous to behold, as well as a deeply harmonious space that is calming to the senses.
Take a look for yourself!
As soon as the architects were commissioned the space, they knew they had a challenge. Namely, the sloping site and the surrounding conditions. Not to forget, the space was located at the intersection of two roads, which meant there was going to be a fair amount of people and cars going through. Not surprisingly, it was important that the house be shielded from the gaze of passersby.
To solve these shortcomings, the architects simply designed the building at a 90-degree angle where the interiors and even entryway are safely ensconced within a small courtyard. Additionally, the windows facing the main street are kept diminutive. The cream facade with the wood finishes on the door complete the elegant look.
From this view, you can see how shielded the interiors actually are from the outside. On entering the front door, you enter the courtyard where a separate guest room has been designed. The tiled courtyard then takes you into the living area, which now has the liberty to have large glass windows and doors as there is enough privacy. The eclectic touches in the Asian-inspired design can already been seen here in the mixing of materials: the pebbled stairs, tiled courtyard and the solid wooden deck around the house.
With the lovely wooden slats all around, you almost get the feeling that you are walking into a tranquil zendo in Kyoto!
It is in the living area that the eclectic flair can be seen, nevertheless tempered down by the quiet elegance of Japanese aesthetics. The wooden elements seen throughout complement the toned-down, modern decor perfectly while the glass sliding doors offer a pleasing view of the garden while ensuring that the interiors remain well-lit.
The architects didn't have a lot of legroom to play around with, particularly since the living area was fairly narrow. To tackle this, they opted for an open-plan layout that is centre-aligned allowing enough room for movement around it.
Behind the living room is this tranquil meditation room that can be concealed by sliding doors as and when required. When not in use, this little room also acts as a wonderful extension of the living room, making it appear larger and more spacious.
This room strictly adheres to the Japanese code: tatami flooring, built-in shelves (or chigaidana) and rice paper panels on the windows that allow natural light to gently filter in.
You can browse through tons of minimal rooms and homes such as this here!
The bedroom of the couple is a deeply soothing space that has the benefit of structural elements working in its favour. Situated directly under the roof, the slanted ceiling already gives the room an interesting element. The grey ceiling and wall behind the bed adds to the calming ambience while giving it a contemporary look and feel. The warm summer light streaming in through the windows keeps what would otherwise have been a dark space airy and well-lit.
To see an altogether different kind of home, this time in Spain, check out The family home full of clever design.