The clean-cut lines and proximity to nature that have defined Japanese design for centuries combine with modernist minimalism in these five homes.
A vacation home in the forest of Agatsuma-gun is elevated 6.5 meters off of the ground, a man-made nest perched on stilts above a ground-level patio. The smooth wood paneling and the minimalistic design of the home’s upper floor recall the simplicity of the natural world, and the glass plate that tops the dining table pulls the reflections of surrounding trees into the house.
Masahiro and Mao Harada of Mount Fuji Architects Studio wanted to break with the traditional definition of a house when they designed this small Tokyo home. They achieved their goal by using the same material for the ceiling, the walls, and the floor, creating a space that flows beautifully.
Architect Akihis Hirata made the most of 921 square feet when designing the Tokyo home pictured here; the house is defined by one long, sprawling staircase with larger landings every few steps that make up individual rooms.
To comply with the spatial restrictions of urban living, Tokyo architect Yuko Shibata designed her apartment to be adjustable. The wall that separates the dining room from the home office can slide to the left to create a larger common room when the workday is over.