Japanese architecture is rooted in simplicity, attention to detail, and efficiency in the use of resources. The spaces in both modern and traditional Japanese homes are designed to be multifunctional, with the delineation of space being implied by shoji screens rather than heavy walls and doors. A great deal of attention is paid in regard to the home’s interface to the outdoors. The connection between the built environment and its surroundings is a major aspect of Japanese design.
One example of a home having a strong connection to the outdoors is the House in Buzen, Fukuoka, by Suppose Design Office. Suppose is a firm based in Japan. They have two offices, one in Tokyo and one in Hiroshima. They focus on design and supervision of architecture, interior, landscape, renovation, products, and furniture.
The House in Buzen was built in 2009 and had an interesting design motive behind it. Suppose wanted to create a design that captured the open feeling of a playground naturally. Rather than a collection of rooms, they thought of this concept as a “collection of constructions”. The main rooms are completely roofed in to seem like a standalone structure, while the immense glass ceiling covers paths connecting the spaces. The result brings in a large amount of natural light, covering all of the walls and really blurring the line between outdoor and indoor spaces. According tot the architect, they “wanted to move past the inside-outside relationship to find new types of connections.”
It is a home design like I have never seen before. Although it is a small home, there is a grand playful quality to the spaces. The dialog with the exterior has traditionally been important in Japanese culture, but this home really helps to change the perception of what is inside and what is outside.