A unique segmented layout defines this wonderful Japanese home, belonging to a couple and their three children near the city centre of Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Designed by Hayato Komatsu Architects, the rooms of this unique home are sectioned into boxes around the boundary of the site. Glass corridors link the volumes whilst taking in the green beauty of a large and serene central Courtyard, as well as multiple smaller yards between. The design was shaped in order to realise all of the client’s desires without completely overwhelming the scale of the 807.03 square metre plot and the surrounding residential environment. The result is a space with a sense of unity and deep connectedness with nature.
A steel cased entry door awaits at the end of a short pathway that leads into the property, just off the main road. The modern door is matched by a frame of steel cased windows that increase its scale and sense of grandeur.
The primary front entrance door for guests is hosted within wood slatted casing, which extends up to the roofline to increase its warm and textural effect. The home’s cool grey exterior creates tonal contrast that pushes the eye toward the welcoming entryway.
Glass roof panels let the blue sky into connective hallways that link each volume of the unique home design. Glass walls open the hallways up to the courtyards that flourish on either side.
Once through the narrow glazed corridor, an enormous living space opens up with towering ceilings. Huge windows bring natural light flooding in over the rich wood tone and grey brick interior. Bespoke bookshelves stack decor all the way to the roof.
The split level living room places a small, casual Dining area in the lower half of the layout, whilst a plush lounge takes pride of place up top. A chic modern L-shaped sofa divides the upper floor plan between the lounge layout and a formal dining area at the back.
A rectangle coffee table is situated at the centre of an understated grey area rug, which balances out the grey tiled floor treatment in the minor dining space below.
A bistro pedestal table sets the secondary dining space up as a spot for tea and light snacks.
Three steps down gives the area a cosy, intimate feel, which is amplified by the presence of a wood burning fireplace.
Surrounding courtyard views bring nature rushing into the airy living space.
An outdoor lounge chair reclines in the welcoming courtyard design. A seamless installation of wood ceiling panels flow from inside the living room to the shady overhang outside.
By night, the courtyards are lit to maintain the magical panorama.
The L-shaped volume pushes the kitchen arrangement a little around the corner from the lounge, giving it an unobstructed view of the lush courtyard.
A breakfast bar backs onto the next connective corridor of floor to ceiling glass. Three kitchen bar stools let the children contribute to dinner prep.
Wide expanses of glass create the feeling of walking outdoors.
Back at the formal dining area, woven dining chairs introduce a light accent into the rich brown and dark grey decor scheme. The frosted dining room pendant lights are IC S style pendant lights. The original iC S was designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos.
A stone walkway in the fashion of a garden pathway has been implemented inside the house, to rebalance an area where outdoor views are lacking.
Inside the master bedroom, a slender floor-to-ceiling side window and a clerestory window ensure privacy. Furniture is kept to minimum, with only a platform bed, bedside table, a desk and an IC F 2 style floor lamp. The original IC F 2 was designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos.
A home library is tucked away in seclusion.
The library doubles as a music appreciation room, with stacks of CDs and a sound system.
Shoji doors add traditional Japanese elegance.
The doors pocket into a deep wooden frame.
Even the bathroom gets its glimpse of a courtyard.
The yard by the bathtub is elevated to enhance the view.
Exposed wooden ceiling beams add bold visual interest.
Authentic tatami mats dress the floor.
The materials palette remains cohesive throughout the home.
Graceful shrubs soften the fortress-like home exterior.
Wood slatted panels screen the connective walkways.
Rock borders feather out the paved driveway, leading into green undergrowth and trees that provide just a small taste of the natural connections that hug the rest of the household.
Exterior lighting softly illuminates the plants and the welcoming front entry door.
The secondary entry door is gently obscured by small trees.
The central courtyard gives the segmented residence an overall sense of unity.
With the windows opened, gentle winds breeze through interior spaces to ignite the senses with an exterior soundtrack of whispering leaves and bird song, and scents of earth, blossoms and blooms.
Each courtyard differs in scale, sunlight and height, creating different experiences as one moves through the house.
The 807.03 square metre site holds a 444.59 square metre build area, resulting in a total floor area of 471.24 square metres. A parking garage holds up to four cars at the front of the property.
The final layout of the rooms was decided upon by imagining a plethora of everyday situations and probable future lifestyle changes.
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