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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.