Japanese Home Among the Trees Uses Bookshelves and Glass for Walls

An established Japanese architecture firm with a yen for porous, indoor-outdoor living spaces crafts a hilltop perch for a young family and the surrounding wildlife.

One summer day, Kensuke Kenmotsu stepped into his nine-month-old house and found a monkey standing in the laundry room. The airy single-story home hugs a wooded slope overlooking the city of Odawara and Sagami Bay. The monkey had walked out of a tangerine orchard adjacent to the house, slid open a screen door, and swaggered inside. "I think he was after our bananas," says Kensuke, a construction labor contractor. His wife, Chika, who is terrified of monkeys, was not pleased. But for architect Masahiro Harada the story is the highest of compliments.

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