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Japanese house embraces understated indoor-outdoor living

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Surprisingly airy

A pitch-roofed house clad in concrete and wood. Shinya Rachi

Dense on the outside, light and airy on the inside, this minimalist home in Japan strikes an unexpected balance. Designed by Akito Machi Architects, the home embraces contrasts. The facade might come off a bit fortress-like while inside, it’s bright with white walls and open space.

The home opens onto a wood-floored kitchen area with soaring timber ceilings. Opaque sliding doors separates the room from an interior stone terrace, which wraps around the house “like a bay window of the whole building,” as the architects put it.

An open dining room with tall ceilings, wooden sideboard and table, and steps out to a stone terrace. Shinya Rachi

Coming in from the terrace, residents must walk down a small set of stairs, which makes the living areas feel like one giant conversation pit with a cozy, grounded atmosphere despite its openness. The terrace also leads to the second floor where there’s a bedroom and a loft-style mezzanine that looks onto the rest of the house.

The kitchen area leads into living room—all wood floored. Shinya Rachi
Under timber ceilings, a loft space has a sink and wooden counters overlooking a large picture window. Shinya Rachi
Exterior view of the house at night, with warm light coming from all rooms. Shinya Rachi