The home by Japan-based StudioGreenBlue takes a simple and elegant approach to what is a common issue in Japan — building on a small lot in a dense city. The Kumagaya Saitama S-House in Fukaya City features a unique pixelated window treatment, which is a pretty remarkable design not only for its unique look but for the solutions it has created. While the home’s site doesn’t offer much of a view, it does have great access to sunlight, and the home takes full advantage of this resource while maintaining privacy and aesthetics — turning light into architecture.

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The home’s site has a great south-facing orientation that allows for passive heating, however a large bank of windows would only have offered views of a gravel lot and the humdrum neighbor’s homes. The home’s fragmented façade allows light and heat to enter inside while breaking up the dull view.

All of the windows are awnings as well — they open up to scoop cool breezes and fresh air. A simple interior is anchored by a central kitchen with a private spaces and storage on either end. A compound angled shed roof rises to the street, making the home appear larger than it really is. A simple steel corrugated skin finishes of the minimalist façade, adding shifting interior and exterior textures as the sun crosses the sky.

+ StudioGreenBlue