This simple, yet beautifully designed residence near Wakayama, Japan is full of spirt and has a deep connection with the surrounding rice fields. Built for a sushi chef, who is also a car hobbyist, the home is perfectly suited to the man's needs for entertaining and working on his cars. At the heart of his home is a two car garage topped with a green roof and a lovely courtyard visible from every room in the house. The Kishigawa Residence was designed by Architect & Associates Mitsutomo Matsunami and completed in the spring of 2011.
Set next to a rice field, the home enjoys views out over farmland and is very privately situated. Organized in a U-shape around a courtyard and projected by the garage on the side facing the road, the house allows its inhabitants to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. Visitors approach via a stone pathway into the courtyard and a ground-level connecting space called Doma. There is no traditional entrance hall and the friends of the owner make frequent stops for visits, which are facilitated by the very open entrance. Large sliding doors in the living room and bedrooms look out through the courtyard to the garage, opening the space to the outdoors and encouraging natural breezes to flow throughout.
The home, while very modestly sized at 533.7 sq ft (49.58 sq m), enjoys two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a laundry, a storage area and a large open living room. One of the owner’s greatest wishes was to have an Irori (traditional Japanese open hearth), which is placed in the living room with views out over the rice fields. Besides natural ventilation and small space living, this Japanese home features a large two car open garage with a vegetated roof. This thick green roof keeps the space insulated against the sun and soaks up rainwater.
Images ©Mitsutomo Matsunami