Today we are looking at another stellar modern project by the architects at Alts Design, a prolific Japanese architectural firm with a reputation for innovative, out-of-the-box home designs.
The Omihachiman House is the white house of the firm's portfolio: the only non-white parts are the charcoal tatami mats and a few green plants. Let's take a closer look…
Located on the corner, the house tilts with a high, slanted roof to the left, with a light grey colour; the rest of the façade has been made entirely of white stone, giving it more natural climate control. Because of its street location, the biggest windows, including on the corner balcony, have been reserved for the top floor for more privacy and first floor windows dominate in the back of the house, facing the garden.
The landscaping has been left simple, with a few young trees dotting the front that will eventually grow and give a great deal of privacy to the front façade.
Once inside the house, serene simplicity washes over you. Rooms have been kept private but fluid, as is the case with this traditional tatami room, accessible to the dining and living rooms, which have been done in a more Western style—the living room has a sofa.
Instead of doors, the tatami room has white, fogged curtains. The outer façade of the room has storage drawers beneath the entrances and the tatami mats themselves are of a deep charcoal that is seen throughout the first floor of the house.
Onto the staircase and living area and the white scheme has barely been broken: the stairs themselves are entirely made of white, highly sanded wood and are impressively jagged, forming an artistic motif above the living room’s entertainment area just below.
Note that the ceiling of the living area is that of the top floor, so the sun comes shining in from above instead of designers having to compromise the privacy of the space by putting in a first floor window looking onto the street.
There is just something so compelling about a simple design like this—and one can easily imagine how productivity is enhanced in such a sunny, spacious room.
Uninterrupted openness was discarded for a split-level office, where a raised tatami area, accessible via a small white staircase, is half the space. But instead of intruding on the room, the tatami platform—covered with beige instead of charcoal mats—works the room and provides a soft relaxation area for when it is break time. It is certainly one of our favourite Japanese studies thus far!
About the only decor in the whole house is this magnificent showcase pieces of dozens of high-speed Japanese train models—lines of colour and a third dimension set in an otherwise white room of two-dimensional surfaces.
We'll bet that by now you were wondering what the inside looks like all pulled together. Well here is the downstairs, living, dining, staircase and tatami room.
From this angle, you can see that the strategy of letting the second floor windows and skylights illuminate the bottom floor has been used throughout, save in the tatami room. And a smooth black marble floor abounds down here, which serves to unify the three spaces; so perhaps it is not a total white house, but it is quite close enough!
Want more white house? Check out: A small white home with a difference!