The clients for this home in the northernmost part of Minoh City, Osaka Prefecture, wanted the architecture to represent local history and culture while also developing a modern aesthetic in a space that closes the gap between indoors and outdoors.

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one-story home with glass walls and slanted metal roof with central skylight

Architect Yasuyuki Kitamura honored the clients’ wishes for a sustainable home that spoke to nature with thin beams on the interior and large windows to invite in natural light and open up the views of the nearby Mount Aogai. Known as the House in Minohshinmachi, the home was situated with the south side facing the road, east and west sides meeting other residential homes and the north side opening up to a buffer zone for the landslide disaster warning area.

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wood dining table near gray sofa
gray couch facing wall of glass

The one-story house was kept low-lying in order to merge into the landscape without being obtrusive as well as to keep material and construction costs low. Builders used conventional construction methods, relying on wood and structural metals, which came together quickly for a short building period. House in Minohshinmachi was designed to ensure high seismic performance, resulting in the achievement of earthquake-resistance grade three standards.

minimalist living area with glass and wood ceiling
wood beams connected to wood ceiling with massive skylight

The designer brought elements of nature into the interior design with large pillars that resemble trees standing in the forest. Natural light floods the space with the entire center of the roof acting as skylights. Modern and minimalistic, the home also achieves excellent insulation performance standards while adhering to a modest budget. The project won the prestigious AZ Award and has been selected as the 2021 Architizer A+ Awards Finalist for Architecture + Living Small/Low Cost Design.

leaning white bookshelf with plants
aerial view of white living area with unfinished wood touches

“We have been searching for the future of environmental architecture, and our goal was to reconstruct the forgotten relationship between local character and the surrounding natural environment,” the architect explained. “The result is a new type of building that, in addition to its high residential performance, feels more like a part of nature than a landscape.”

+ Yasuyuki Kitamura

Photography by Masashige Akeda via v2com