Japanese architecture has inspired the world for generations. Inextricably tied with the spiritual and philosophical aspects of Japanese culture, it focusses on harmony and balance with the natural world, as well as creating super functional spaces that meet the needs of the family. It's also produced some of the most aesthetically pleasing, and exciting designs in world architecture, taking influences from ancient China, and developing them into something unique and personal.
Over time Japanese architecture has developed considerably, but without ever losing sight of its rich history. Though the homes have modernised, many of the core concepts are the same, and a dedication to form, function, and balance, as well as a special penchant for using timber, all remain central to the character and spirit of the art form. That's why today we're looking at some of the best examples of modern Japanese homes, so that you can take those ideas and copy them, bringing the expertise and knowledge of the Japanese masters to Malaysia!
One of the defining aspects of Japanese architecture is simplicity of form, and the architects behind this project took that concept and used it to design an incredibly functional tiny home that mixes neutral colours with rich timber panels.
For a culture with such a rich history Japan has never been shy about looking forward and imagining the future, and this minimalist home featuring an interplay of geometric shapes is surely a utopian vision!
This home features an unusually large roof that protrudes far over the house, protecting it from the elements. To ensure the home still gets plenty of sunlight a large window box on the upper floor with a timber frame that evokes Japanese characters extends from the ceiling.
The rich hues of the timber really complement the vibrant green of the surrounding countryside. This harmony with the environment is one of the central tenets of Japanese architecture, but it's also a sound design approach wherever you're from, especially in the tropical surroundings of Malaysia!
Don't let the facade fool you into making assumptions about the levels inside this house, as mezzanines and lofts break up the interior, while other spaces are two stories high. The exterior is unassuming, but a warm glow emanates from within making this a cosy and welcoming home.
It looks as if this entire home has been covered with a tarpaulin, but in fact it's a tile ceiling. This truly avant-garde design shows that the innovation and creativity of Japanese architects will see them inspiring the world for a long time yet!
Built from unvarnished timber that looks fantastic with the natural bright greens of the plants and lawn, this home has been designed with enjoying the garden as a top priority. The living room opens up to the garden with large sliding doors, while the upper floor only extends over part of the structure, leaving room for a large balcony.
Huge windows cover half of this home, and we'd do the same with such a spacious and picturesque garden! This home also features plenty of solar panels to make the most of its fabulous country environment and ample sunshine.
This bright and homely project is technically two stories, but a sloping ceiling creates an attic space above marked by a small window in the corner. The large windows on the bottom floor and the wraparound veranda ensure you can make the most of the sunlight.
With a simple box shaped building as base, this home has been extended with a perpendicular structure marked by timber slats, making the most of the property while still allowing for a large outdoor area.
If privacy is your number one concern then this is the perfect design for you, as the street view only features tiny windows to let a little sunlight in.
On this stunning timber home we find another sloping roof, perfect for Malaysia's rainy season as all of the excess water slides right off the home. The house features a really unique interplay of levels, and creative interior architecture that makes for a dynamic and exciting space.
This super modern design uses a creative mix of materials including reclaimed timber board, polished concrete, and opaque glass that provides privacy while still letting in the sunlight. At the rear of the house you'll find huge windows that look out to beautiful ocean views.
We've never seen anything quite like this; the home features no windows on the main structure, instead the front of the house completely opens out to the veranda with sliding doors, while on the ceiling box units with windows protrude out to catch maximum sun.
This interesting design is made up of four distinct corners, separated by windows and doors, with one of the corners reaching two stories up, and a pure white colour palette to reflect the sun.
Charred timber elements give this home a lot of character, while a second floor with a spacious balcony extends over the front door creating a covered porch. The lower floor is private with no windows, while the upper floor features full wall windows all the way around for a sunny atmosphere.
With a simple structure of wood, concrete and huge windows this is a straightforward but really effective design.
This singular concrete structure features plenty of shade and a covered parking area, keeping the home cool in the hotter months.
This classical Japanese home features a beautiful garden area, and a simple facade with large windows that lets the interior speak for itself.
It's rare that you see dark coloured homes, let alone black ones, but looking at this mysterious and beautiful project it makes you wonder why!
There's so much to learn from Japanese architecture, and its use of timber and focus on the environment makes it the perfect source of inspiration for Malaysian homes. For more great ideas check out this article on affordable homes.