‘house in nabeshima’ by toru shimokawa architects
Nestled amid former rice fields in Saga, Japan, ‘House in Nabeshima’ unfolds like a picturesque painting with its pure aesthetics and lush, topographic outdoors evoking miniature forests. Toru Shimokawa Architects completed the residence as a traditional, wood-framed volume that hugs a central rock garden/courtyard peppered with trees and covered in cedar moss. The courtyard extends into a south garden where trees emerge from a raised topography, casting shadows of leaves on the stone path, scattered rocks, and cedar moss that covers the entire surface.
all images © Koji Fujii
evoking the green, meditative mountains of japan
The tranquil atmosphere created by the south garden envelops a wide veranda constructed entirely of pure wooden frames. ‘The owner sits there, indulges in his customary meditation, and confronts this landscape with a purified mind,’ notes the architects. The living room, meanwhile, connects to the courtyard with a second, expansive veranda on the other side of ‘House in Nabeshima’, cleared from corner pillars. In contrast to the south garden, through the wide porch, the courtyard blends undulating topography with architecture, giving the impression that the dwelling is gently placed in the green mountains.
the openings on every corner make use of Japan’s Zukuri style of architecture
integrating light, wind, and green vistas into everyday living
As well as carving its way southwards, the undulating garden continues to the north, east, and west sides, where each room facing it receives plenty of sunlight and meditative vistas. Furthermore, all of the openings in the inner and outer corners of the house, structured in the style of traditional Zukuri of architecture, can be opened to fully connect indoors with outdoors and allow a pleasant breeze to permeate every corner of the home. ‘Along with the light and wind, the gazes of the family come and go, and you can feel the presence of the family even when they spend their time individually,’ notes Toru Shimokawa Architects.
‘House in Nabeshima’ unfolds with tranquil views of an undulating rock garden
the garden extends southwards, leading to and hugging a wide veranda
‘The view of the south garden, veranda, living room, courtyard, master bedroom and the inside and outside (yin and yang) is a layer of watermarks unique to Japanese architecture. By creating an integrated architecture and garden without a master-servant relationship, we have created a fresh landscape in a land of private houses.’