The small House U in Tokyo, clad in golden-hued red cedar, is a minimalist daylit home for a couple in their 40s. Local studio Atelier Kukka designed the house as a cluster of open-plan spaces with a view that perfectly frames a glorious cherry tree outside.
The architects organized the open and spacious interior around a dark blue accent wall. Two open-plan floors include split levels, changing ceiling heights and a double-height central area. This variety in ceiling heights aims to accentuate the three-dimensionality of the house. This spatial playfulness also allows natural light to spill over from floor to floor and reach the deepest corners of the building. A Japanese-style room on the ground floor serves as a bedroom and a home study and features tatami mats. It also has a bathroom and a small balcony terrace.
The facade tapers in at one corner where a box-framed window provides views of the cherry tree. The other section of the wall features a smaller opening. Both windows are carefully placed to provide privacy while allowing the residents to enjoy views of the surroundings. Warm red cedar cladding contrasts the adjacent buildings and brings an element of nature to the neighborhood.
Photos by Kai Nakamura