With an initial–and huge–priority to block out a seven-story apartment building next door, Flat 40 was devised with meticulous design strategy. A minimalist dream home by Keisuke Kawaguchi+K2-Design, this private residence sits in downtown Imbari, Japan and is an architectural surprise.
With a long, narrow lot compounded by the hulking building adjacent to the property, the challenge was presented, then clearly overcome, with engaging modern design. The bold white one-story structure features an interior split-level plan which takes advantage of the hovering privacy wall, or ukikabe, built around it. This wall in and of itself is beautiful, yet its the living areas which benefit from its function. Light and ventilation penetrate the partition, contributing energy and cooling to the home which emerges from beneath.
Designed as a linear program, a sunken entrance door opens unto to a long corridor leading to a central courtyard which the interiors mesh with. This hallway elegantly divides the mezzanine-level bedrooms from the main floor living areas.
Sheets of glass walls and plentiful skylights harness natural light by day, while reflecting interior lighting by night which casts dramatic shadows within the contemporary spaces. The design portrays a naturally-occuring “mood lighting” which is remarkable!
Concrete paired with wood grain creates a melody across the plan, while furnishings are just as simple, not stifling the well-intended openness.
The bedrooms, while separate spaces from within, all open to a shared outdoor corridor which pours in natural light and fresh air. The living areas below are open, flowing into each other and follow the timber ceiling which becomes a homogenous factor throughout.
A swimming pool wrapped in a ribbon of timber resides on the other side of the courtyard which blooms with cherry blossom trees. The greenery and water can be appreciated from the living-dining-kitchen zone.
Flat 40 is a home in balance, an unconventional modern dream dwelling with a sole structural element bringing it to the next level of progressive design.