Fusing modern architectures best forms with Japanese inventiveness is the landmark Grid House. From prominent Japanese architects at Architect Show Co ltd; the house is situated in a quiet suburban area and was designed to stand out from its urban surroundings. As the name of the house suggests, the home is made up of a collection of grids, but is defined in the exterior by its cube shapes.
In a pure design sense, the home appears to break all the conventional rules of traditional Japanese architecture, but somehow manages to retain the key characteristics of a typical Japanese home. It's a fascinating case of old meets new.
Rendered in a dominant gleaming white—the home gives the impression of a blank appearance—a popular style amongst modern Japanese architects. Here, the large blank surfaces is a deliberate design technique that enables the buildings shape and other subtle features to stand out. Openings from internal courtyards and the garage are covered by black vertical metal strip screening.
Stepping inside the shared living and dining area we can begin to appreciate the unique architecture of the home. Notice there's a clear emphasis upon open space and connectivity. Large sliding doors connect the internal courtyard with the two main sections of the home. Despite containing both indoor and outdoor spaces the flooring remains the same with timber floorboards providing a sense of consistency between areas.
Japanese architecture has always melded the home with nature. Even in the most modern build there's always an emphasis to create a connection between the indoors and outside world. A corridor in the second level of the home leads towards a large window. Although the hallway is a pathway to other areas of the house, as the user walks towards other areas their gaze is drawn to the bamboo plant that has grown upwards into view. Despite being in the middle of the home the occupant can still feel like nature isn't too far away.
Furnishing inside the home is a reflection of the simple nature of Japanese homes. There's no room for extravagance here with every piece of furniture serving a valued function. The dining room table acts as a meeting point for family to share not only meals but also to catch up on the each persons experiences from the day.
Upstairs there is a small outdoor zone. Not only is this zone a connecting point between the two internal second level indoor areas, but there is a space to relax and enjoy the elements. There is a sense of nature in the area thanks to the use of richly stained timber sourced from sustainable forests.
As we end out tour of the Grid House we can take one last look at the front exterior of the home. In the evening the home lights up and shows of its uniquely shaped appearance. We love the effect of the vertical metal screening which not only gives an aesthetic appeal but also provides a sense of privacy and security for its occupants.
Overall i's safe to say that there’s always something about Japanese architecture that is able to excite and inspire.
For more inspiration we take a look at a contemporary renovation of a 1970s home in the USA. Click the link below to see how it turned out.