Situated in the small city of Kashiwa, not far from Tokyo, this family house was imagined as an adaptable space that the inhabitants design by living in it. Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop used wooden construction to build simple open boxes around a communal space, creating a study in radical openness and raw surfaces after the clients decided that, instead of designing the space and then moving in, they wanted to move in and design the space to suit the way they lived. Take a look to see if the house inspires you to live in a more unfinished style.
Born of long discussions with the client, the architect designed the bare bones of the house, leaving the family free to place objects such as clothes and accessories to define and order the spaces. Four two story boxes point towards the central communal space. The ground floor of the boxes are fitted out as kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and workspace, the upper layer is left blank to encourage the inhabitants to design around their ongoing use. These spaces could become wardrobes, hobby spaces or children’s rooms. Raw plywood creates a relaxed and minimal feel.
The footprint of the house is compact at only 70-square meters, and each space meets the minimum size required for the designated function, providing a total floor area of just under 108-square meters. The windows are angled to view trees or the sky rather than neighboring houses, meaning the view from the galbarium steel exterior only provides glimpses of life inside. Natural light abounds within the roomy central space. The design allows free view into most areas, ideal if you’re working in the kitchen and want to keep an eye on the kids playing upstairs.