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Zen Gardens That Out-Modern Their Minimalist Homes

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For the small faction of people out there who find rollicking gardens and lavish flowerbeds to be deeply stressful, the best type of courtyards, it seems, come in the form of a single spindly tree, a handful of pebbles, and maybe an artfully trimmed tract of moss, but not a stitch more than that. So leave behind luscious yards, lavish patios, and wild outdoor amenities for a moment, and come take a peaceful stroll through some of the most minimalistic homes in the world (ok, they're mainly in Japan) and the even simpler, starker gardens that surround them.

(↑ and ↓) The Eagle Ridge Residence by Gary Gladwish Architecture in Orcas Island, Wash. [link]

(↑) A mossy inner courtyard at the The Eagle Ridge Residence. [link]

(↑ and ↓) White Cave House by Japanese firm Takuro Yamamoto Architects in Kanazawa, Japan. [link]

(↑) A single potted tree on the White Cave House's terrace. [link]

(↑ and ↓) The F-House by Japanese architect Yukio Hashimoto in Gion, Japan. [link]

(↑) One medium tree and one large rock at the F-House. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A metal-clad box by Japanese architect Eto Kenta in Ōita Prefecture, Japan. [link]

(↑) A lonely thatch of trees in a slim courtyard in Ōita Prefecture, Japan. [link]

(↑ and ↓) The curving, tunnel-shaped Tokyo House in (yep!) Tokyo by Japanese architect Makiko Tsukada. [link]

(↑) Just four trees and maybe a dozen stones at the Tokyo House. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A charred cedar bungalow by Japanese studio MDS in Aichi, Japan. [link]

(↑) Perhaps the most lavish of all the zen gardens (multiple trees! flowers!) in Aichi, Japan. [link]

(↑ and ↓) PC garden by famed pile o' sticks architect Kengo Kuma. [link]

(↑) The statue-adorned namesake backyard at the PC garden. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A glass wall-lined home by Japanese architects Arbol Design in Osaka, Japan. [link]

(↑) Arbol Design's walls of rock and branch gardens. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A cube-shaped family home in Kamakura, Japan by local Level Architects. [link]

(↑) A pretty garden in a glass box in Kamakura, Japan. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A low slung little cabin in Kagawa, Japan by Japanese architect Hironaka Ogawa. [link]

(↑) Mossy, peanut shaped patches dotting white rocks in Kagawa, Japan. [link]

(↑ and ↓) The Machi House by UID Architects in Fukuyama, Japan. [link]

(↑) A little garden that grows right through the Machi House and up towards the skylights. [link]

(↑ and ↓) Another spare apartment by UID architects in Hiroshima. [link]

(↑) A sectioned off, tiny mountain garden in Hiroshima. [link]

(↑ and ↓) The circular Pit House in Japan by UID Architects. [link]

(↑) Rocks and trees surrounding the living room at the Pit House. [link]

(↑ and ↓) San Francisco home with a "zenned-out bamboo garden" on the market for $1.795M. [link]

(↑) Said bamboo garden. [link]

(↑ and ↓) The moody Khopoli House by Mumbai firm SPASM Design Architects in Khopoli, India. [link]

(↑) The rather barren patio—complete with a porch—at the Khopoli House. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A petite, blocky home by Portuguese firm ARX Arquitectos in Juso, Portugal. [link]

(↑) One impossibly thin sapling in Juso, Portugal. [link]

(↑ and ↓) An airy cube in Leiria, Portugal by by Portuguese firm ARX Arquitectos. [link]

(↑) The tiniest of Japanese maples in Leiria, Portugal. [link]

(↑ and ↓) An urban cement spread by Japanese Mifune Design Studio in Osaka, Japan. [link]

(↑) A symbolic podocarpus tree that's lived on the site of this home for many years. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A three-volume spread by local Keitaro Muto Architects in Ogaki, Japan. [link]

(↑) The backyard garden with "stones that create informal seating areas." Informal, indeed. [link]

(↑ and ↓) A jagged, angular house by Japanese architecture firm Takashi Yamaguchi & Associates in Ise, Japan. [link]

(↑) a rock garden at the home in Ise, Japan, with approximately zero plants. This one just might take the (unornamented, unfrosted, vanilla) cake. [link]

· 17 Projects Proving Nobody Does Minimalism Quite Like Japan [Curbed National]
· 31 Shots of Plain White Boxes Masquerading as Residences [Curbed National]
· All Minimalism posts [Curbed National]
· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]