Situated in the Japanese woodlands, this home by the team at ecrit is a beautiful expression of traditional Japanese design principals in a contemporary family home. The symmetry of the stark white box is offset by the asymmetry of the pitched roof and curvilinear retaining wall that gently leads one toward the entrance. An awareness of the homes surroundings is seen in the use of materials. Raw stone steps and warm wooden finishes bridge the divide between the man made and the natural. The use of light and colour is subtle, but with dramatic effect. A feeling of warmth and personality is created in a sharp and clever abode. The grand, long living space, cozy and enticing from the outside, remains connected to it's beautiful natural surroundings through a series of thoughtful gestures. Let's step into the woods and take a look through this delightful retreat, nestled in the depths of nature.
The first thing that the eye is drawn to, upon approaching the house, is the glorious vibrancy of the deciduous tree. It's mottled colours give promise of falling leaves. The shadow of the tree is beautifully cast against the white backdrop of the home, appearing like a graphic imprint that textures the blank canvas. The changing seasons dramatically effect the way the house appears and is experienced; time becomes an abstract character in the tangible qualities of the home.
Past the tree, the stone steps that lead up to the front door are staggered, appearing as if they grew out of the lush grass. Abandoning regularity, they put the home at place in the natural woodlands. The construction of an uneven and irregular journey, requires one to be very conscious and present in the movements they are making. The steps up to the house form a threshold between inside and out, oneself and their environment or situation.
Here, we can see voids in the gable end, either side of the timber element. As we take a closer look in the following photos, we will see that the Architect has created these so that light may penetrate deep into the double height living space.
Moving inside, to the heart of the home, we are greeted with a generous double height living space. The spiral stair dances lightly and gracefully up through the space, connecting the mezzanine level to this central cavity in the home. Translucent windows between the interior rooms allow for further connection, while also offering flexibility. The long dining table becomes the key focus within the space, offering a place to gather around the oh so loved activity of dining.
This space finds a beautiful connection with the outdoors via a full height glazed wall at the far end of the room that allows natural flight to flood inside. A splash of green finds it's way in, accentuating the long dining bench chairs against the stark white walls and light timbers of the interior. For more living space inspiration, take a look here!
The sliding doors are recessed to create a seamless transition to the semi-enclosed back deck. It almost appears to be an extension of the living area, sharing the same internal wall and ceiling lines and lacking visual interruption, bar the timber beam. Long white curtains do, however, allow for a feeling of enclosure when desired.
The feature light fixture, hanging above the deck, imbues this space with all the coziness of the interior rooms; the inverse to the large dining space being drawn outside by the window and walls. One is, however, offered a closer relationship with their natural surroundings, with the provision of a beautiful space to enjoy a book, a cup of tea or even a glass of wine on a warm summers evening.
Again, a step is employed to acknowledge the threshold or moment of transition between the home and the outside. Cantilevered out past the foundation, it makes the house appear to be lightly hovering above the ground. The placement of two chairs just beyond the windows, one large and one small, and presence of a playing child lend a little personality to the scene and allow us to imagine the act of living in such a wonderful home. Here we get a wider perspective of the continuity of the space. We see elements of symmetry and order alongside the irregular, playful and personal. For another beautiful and thoughtful home designed by ecrit, take a look here: Contemporary expression of Japanese design.