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Fortress-like Japanese home's traditional screen lets in natural light

The minimalist residence is located on a corner in Osaka

Nara-based architect Yoshiaki Yamashita has completed another one of his signature boxy, minimalist homes in Osaka, Japan. From the street, the home’s black, windowless facade looks severe and fortress-like, but upon entering through a side corridor, one is greeted by a bright and open space illuminated by a massive shoji screen.

Built on a plot measuring only 66 square meters, the two-story residence is actually a floor and a half, with a double-height living, dining, kitchen area (and bathroom) making up the ground floor, and a small mezzanine level accessed by two sets of short ladders and a narrow platform directly under the screen making up a bedroom.

Concrete lines the floor of the kitchen and dining room, while the mezzanine floor is lined in raw wood with exposed beams running along the ceiling. A window cut-out and a small square mirror light up this compact space. Below the lofted room is another small room connected to the main ground space by an open doorway. A sliding glass door at the far end opens to a tiny atrium. Otherwise, the only proper doors in the house are the glazed front entryway and the door to the bathroom. These and the oversized shoji screen provide most of the home’s natural light. Head to Designboom for the full story.