This house, by Yokoyama architects, based out of Yokohama City, is worth 606,000 Malaysian Ringgits. Set not far from the high street, it has been deftly designed to fit into its urban surroundings while maximising its potential for inner respite, elegance and balance – what urbanite doesn't need these things? Let's start this tour off from the outside, then move our way inside…
Modest in white from the outside, with simple thin black accenting, the house front may face south but all of the angles at the top have large windows and face east to meet the rising sun.
The design really sets this house apart from its neighbours, whose conventional windows do a poor job of optimising the day's light. Plus, these windows face away from the noisy street, adding solitude to a house in the midst of the big city bustle.
These designers have come to remind us that the structure of stairs are themselves an interesting visual point, and to highlight this fact, these stairs have been done in white paint with thin, soft oak edging and a dark feature wall to make them pop.
Thick tree trunk beams traverse the high foyer space at uneven heights, and it is not difficult to imagine how stringing a few white lights around them would really make this lofty space sparkle at night.
A deep and wide bathtub enjoys light brought in from two storey windows that reflect the sheen of the pristine white tiles that cover every inch of this bathroom.
No frills have been added to this space, aside from a simple square mirror, so the atmosphere is as clean and fresh as you feel after a soothing bath!
The night-time view of this central living room shows off the wisely placed lighting and the great expanse of the skylight windows, facing east. On the ground layer, you can see that the designers have not scrimped on windows either, and nearly a whole two walls are made of thick glass sliding doors, so you can easily step out either onto the patio or garden.
The room, like the bathroom, is without ostentation – and benefits from the natural stylishness of soft wood accenting from the floors, furniture and support beams.
Lastly, air flow in this house is another thing to point out: its split-layered design, many windows and sophisticated air filtration system make it so air comes in, out and through easily, having a positive effect on the inside air quality and, therefore, on the house's atmosphere generally.
This last room really brings the balance to this house. Traditional Shoji screen style windows and tatami mats cover the floor of this room, for a traditional asian flair on a house that has been designed using Western furnishings in the rest of the house. It can be used for tea guests or mediation but, tucked off the main staircase and foyer, it is a roomy room set apart for getting back your balance – pure respite!
To see another incredible Japanese home, check out the cherry blosson house.