Architect Yasuyuki Kitamura has recently built this residence for a young couple, located in Minoh, a city in northwestern Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Surrounded by a rich natural environment despite the fact that it is a development site, the surrounding area is lined with houses that have nothing to do with the natural environment or local character of the area.
The project aims to highlight the relationship between humans and nature while acknowledging the natural qualities of the surroundings. Questioning the nature of modern housing, the design team has set the building at the suburban boundary between ‘city’ and ‘nature’. The specific location allows the inhabitants to form a close relationship with the environment.
The north side of the site faces the management road of a vegetable garden that the neighborhood participates in, with Mt. Blue Shell in the background. In addition, there is a road to the south, and houses stand to the east and west. “The clients were looking for a rich house to live with nature on such a land, and they wanted a house that would coexist with nature with a vague boundary,” says Yasuyuki Kitamura.
The deep eaves of the light roof extend the interior and the nested nooks and crannies create an ambiguous space. In addition, a pair of openings visually take the outside into the center of the building, and a large top light allows the green of the trees and the blue sky to penetrate through. The curtains on the outside adjust the sunlight and line of sight, and the two pillars like standing trees give a sense of security to the generous space. The result is a light-hearted home that feels as if it is part of nature, rather than a landscape.