What is Home in Japanese?
Home in Japanese is known as (uchi/ie). The Kanji symbol for home can also be read as meaning the place of one’s residence.
Japan poses unique challenges when it comes to homebuilding, with its long history of remote island archipelagos and mountainous terrain providing unprecedented difficulties in creating homes that blend indoor and outdoor living spaces while providing privacy protection from nature’s elements. But architects are finding innovative solutions that meet this constrained context to craft homes that blur indoor/outdoor living areas while offering privacy from natural forces.
One such home, designed by Apollo Architects & Associates, uses a wooden-clad facade to evoke its surrounding landscape. Horizontal bands and angled surfaces reflect sunlight into the interior space while protecting it from harsh northern climate conditions.
Tato Architects of Hokkaido designed this house, using transparent walls to link each floor of their residence and let in natural light. Built to withstand Hokkaido’s extreme climate fluctuations, including cold winter temperatures. Insulation provides protection from cold temperatures while large windows maximize daylight during a short summer season.
But designing a Japanese home can be challenging in other ways; many other factors come into play when attempting to design one, including tight urban lot sizes that make creating open or private living spaces impossible in an urban context. Instead, homeowners must employ clever solutions in order to achieve a sense of space and light that reflects its surroundings and culture – like this two-story residence in Tokyo.
Shigeru Ban is another designer who took this approach when creating his minimalist home, featuring three walls covered by floor-to-ceiling sliding glass that blurs the distinction between inside and out. Inside, the Wall-Less House feels open and airy thanks to its open cornerless layout; one-way windows maintain privacy as does an area filled with plants in between rooms.
Hitoshi Saruta of CUBO Design Architects created this striking home, blending tradition with new technologies and materials seamlessly. Hitoshi’s home reflects traditional forms with contemporary innovations while remaining completely private for his family; only internal windows let light in through hidden facade. Even in densely populated cities such as Tokyo it is possible to achieve such harmony between tradition and innovation when it comes to Japanese architecture.