Sou Fujimoto Architects' House N is a modern one story house punctuated by rectangular holes that fill the interior with light and air. The residence consists of three nested boxes that gradually decrease in size to create greater privacy as they pull in from the street. Like a set of nesting dolls, the home shrinks inwards to create small, private and intimate spaces while maintaining a direct connection with the outdoors and the home's surrounding environment.
Located in Oita, Japan, House N was designed for a couple and their dog. The outermost box encases a semi-private yard and outdoor living area, which features a wooden deck, trees and garden space. The middle box encases the interior space, the bathroom, and a kitchen situated along the back wall. Finally, the innermost box contains the bedroom, dining and living area. The minimalist concrete home uses the trees as decoration against the white walls.
The outer box features a number of large rectangular cuts that delineate the space. Natural daylight, fresh air, and wind and rain are allowed to enter into the home and the courtyard – the middle box contains the home’s actual envelope.
Sou Fujimoto describes House N: “A distinct boundary is nowhere to be found, except for a gradual change in the domain. One might say that an ideal architecture is an outdoor space that feels like the indoors and an indoor space that feels like the outdoors. In a nested structure, the inside is invariably the outside, and vice versa. My intention was to make an architecture that is not about space nor about form, but simply about expressing the riches of what are `between` houses and streets.”
Images ©Sou Fujimoto Architects