This Japanese Architect’s Live/Work Space Embodies Quiet Reflection

The design of this three-level structure was inspired by a single tree.
Text by

When Japanese architect Go Fujita of firm Gosize purchased a plot of land in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture his intention was to create a serene office-cum-residence. Fujita harnessed the serenity of the natural setting— the city is one of Japan’s top sites for viewing cherry blossoms—and Gosize’s signature minimalist-contemporary style to build an imposing structure made almost entirely of concrete. 

A view of the exterior of the concrete live/work space. 

Natural stone abounds in the design. 

Fujita's approach to the design of F Residence was guided by a personal vision: to transform his current hectic lifestyle into one that was more relaxed. When it came time to channel this desire into a tangible design, he sought inspiration from a single Akamatsu (Japanese red pine) tree on the property. "It made me want to create a timeless space," explains Fujita. He accomplished this by borrowing several distinctive Japanese aesthetic cues for his home, seen in the muted color palette, emphasis on negative space, and ambiguous boundaries between indoor and outdoor space.

While the space remains spartan in furniture, a formal dining area holds a Zhang table and seating from Time and Style. 

Fujita embraces indoor-outdoor living with high ceilings and full walls that open to the outside.

Primarily concrete, F Residence is all clean lines and angles in a monochromatic palette. What it lacks in color it more than makes up for in texture. Materials like concrete, granite, tile carpet, vintage oak, tin tile, and silver foil interplay to create a home that on the surface appears restrained but in actuality is quite dramatic. 

Double height ceilings create a sense of airiness. 

Skylights allow light to move across dark spaces throughout the day. 

Traveling upwards in the three-level home, each floors allots greater and greater access to the outdoors. While the ground floor work space is encased in walls, double height ceilings in the doma, a traditional Japanese tiled entryway, floods the space with natural light. 

Spaces are kept minimal to instill a sense of serenity. A Pilotta chair from Cassina is the only piece of furniture other than the built-in bench. 

Shop the Look
Blu Dot Couchoid Studio Sofa
Is it more like a sofa or a speed boat? The aerodynamic design of the Blu Dot Couchoid Studio Sofa makes it one and the same, featuring a simple back and slick arm rests that like to keep a low profile.
Skagerak Georg Stool
The Georg Collection (2013) is the work of Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm, a Nordic designer who studied in Sweden and Denmark. Operating from her studio in Copenhagen, Halstrøm takes a minimalist approach to maximizing functionality.

The living space off the kitchen opens up entirely to the outdoors. 

The back wall is made up of two tiers of glass with a private courtyard and soothing water feature. The quiet gurgling of water and the shifting sounds of the natural world as it changes over the seasons is meant to impart an awareness of time. 

The courtyard offers a soothing space to take a break. 

A second and third floor hold private quarters, accessed by a separate internal door. Here, spacious rooms like the living area have entire walls that open up to the outdoors, accompanied by an array of skylights that filter in soft light. 

Fujita incorporates multiple textures to add variation to the nearly monochrome palette. 

"It is my hope that this residence and office will serve as a place to reconnect with the nature-based wisdom and spiritual culture our ancestors have passed down to us, as well as to quietly reexamine my own life," says Fujita. 

A view of the exterior by night. 

Related Reading:

This Japanese Home Has a Sunken Interior That Blends Into the Earth

Project Credits:

Architect: Go Fujita, Gosize / @gosize

Builder: Kasatani Construction

Structural Engineer: Daisuke Hasegawa & Partners Co.

Interior designer: GOSIZE CO.

Furniture production: 0556style


Last Updated

Get the Pro Newsletter

What’s new in the design world? Stay up to date with our essential dispatches for design professionals.