Interested to take a peek in how modern Japanese architecture translates into timeless, organic and elegant design that brings luminosity and charm into its inhabitant’s life? This project of PUDDLE located in Hyogo Prefecture transforms the rich history of a former “kenban” (a place for geisha performers from the onsen to gather) into a dynamic modern dwelling that still preserves its strong connection with nature and the charming Asian simplicity of expression.
The architects had a strong determination of combining the place original history and charm with the owners intriguing and beautiful collection of art, furniture, and other treasured belongings into harmonies and elegant one. Unexpected discoveries like the beautiful ceiling beams are exposed and renewed to coexist with modern takes on design and artistic elements. Because the property is surrounded by luscious bamboo forest, the humidity would be an issue, so the designers turn to a solution that combines local historical craft and modern technology achievements and clad the walls of the bedroom in locally manufactured clay construct.
The interior design of the three floors home revolves around the central kitchen premise that offers spacious and luminous environment an open plan layout and an excellent space for meetings and friends gathering. The living area features a slightly raised zone designed on a former performance stage and a studio for the owner’s wife – who is a manga artist – bout offering warm open plan arrangement and if that is not intriguing and strongly characteristic?
The whole house design offers so many thoughtful details, fascinating incursion, and harmoniously balanced solutions that a very detailed observation is needed to spot them all.
The clever selection of the color scheme – avoiding complete whites instead combining four shades of gray gives depth and warmth to the composition. This also enhances the strong presence of the wooden and clay details that compose the decor. On and all a magnificent example of modern Japanese architecture and design that also offers an artistic read on history and organic spirit of the Asian cultural context. Photography by Takumi Ota