House in Nishimikuni
by Arbol Design

| 14 comments
 

A garden snakes between the cedar-clad walls of this house in Osaka by Japanese architects Arbol Design (+ slideshow).

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

Arbol Design chose to enclose the garden within the high walls that surround the property to keep the spaces out of view from tall apartment buildings close by.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

"There was concern about overlooking from the park and the apartments nearby, plus views within the site to the buildings outside," said the architects. "We solved it by encircling the entire house with a wall."

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

Designed for a retired couple, the single-storey wooden home stands out from the rendered concrete multi-storey apartment blocks in the Nishimikuni district of central Osaka.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

The gravel garden planted with small trees winds around the bedroom at the front of the property, passes the dining room and tatami area then ends beside the bathroom at the back.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

Its path is broken by a small portion of corridor in the centre of the plot that connects the front section of the house to the rear. Large windows along the route flood the rooms with natural light and allow the foliage to be appreciated without venturing outside.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

The perimeter wall blocks all views of the neighbourhood so only the sky is visible from inside, though thin vertical slits allow glimpses beyond.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

The same cedar cladding used externally also covers the floor, while other indoor finishes are kept neutral. Entry to the home is through an inconspicuous door off the side of the partly covered front driveway.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

We've posted a couple of Japanese houses already this week. One features a staircase that folds around a double-height bookcase and another includes playground swings that can be hung inside or out.

Photos are by Yasunori Shimomura.

See more Japanese houses »
See more architecture and design in Osaka »

Keep reading for more information from the designers:


House in Nishimikuni

What are one-storied houses like in the centre of cities? The surroundings and privacy matter, or how to use the outer space of the house. We pursued simplicity and richness the most.

By decreasing the number of the rooms as much as possible, we made it possible to use rich materials in the spaces. Furthermore, take away unnecessary stories and let in the natural sunshine instead.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design

This house is designed for a retired couple, proposing a new style of one-storied house located in the centre of Osaka city.

There was concern about overlooking from the park and the apartments nearby, plus views within the site to the buildings outside. We solved it by encircling the entire house with a wall.

House in Nishimikuni by Arbol Design
Floor plan - click for larger image and key

You could see a beautiful colour contrast in green from planting within the site and in blue from the sky. We created a S-shaped garden across the house so you could enjoy it anywhere, and it is as if you were in the forest watching a river running!

This one-storey house surrounded with lined-up condominiums has created a new concept of richness, in the concept of not needing to be chained to thoughts about how large the ground space is, or how convenient it is.

  • cuneese pignolo

    Great house. Not manneristic, but serene and to the point.

  • aleks

    BRAVO. A very pleasant space.

  • pgvinh

    “Simplicity and richness”. I really like this project, especially when simplicity comes to life successfully.

  • Donkey

    A perfect hideaway amid such density.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz Chuck Anziulewicz

    Just another example of why I love the Japanese architectural aesthetic so much. I want to live here.

  • Bed

    It’s great until you see the space heater or aircon box hanging off the wall. I mean, how could you miss it? The rest is so well considered I just don’t see why it wasn’t more integrated, and then at least don’t publish a photo of it.

    • Klapp

      Could have been rules or regulations as to why this particular model can’t be integrated. But I get your point.

  • http://cobaltdevelopments.ca/ Cobalt

    I love this house so much! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Don

    “I want to live here”. How long would you make it without a window? I know there are, but the view extends to some, what, 4 meters?

    Claustrophobic for me, but I can see there really aren’t too many options to make it any other way. Poor japanese.

    • Antônio Marcelino

      Claustrophobic? Where?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz Chuck Anziulewicz

    “How long would you make it without a window?”

    I could make it. If it was necessary to see what was outside, I would either install a camera outside, or simply GO outside.

  • Liv

    It feels like a prison in centre parks.

    • mike

      Look at its site. I’m sure you’d love to live in a glass house and have the entire neighbourhood watching your every move.

  • Rae Claire

    I wonder that this piece of land is zoned for a single house in such a neighbourhood. Claustrophobia comes from staring at a high blank wall just a few feet away. Granted, that is preferable to trading glances with a neighbour.

    These folks could probably afford giant wall-size screens showing constant live (or recorded) streams of pleasant views.