Contemporary homes are endless in variation when it comes to design styles and materials use. The innovation shown by architects around the world seems to be limitless and more impressive than we could imagine. With all of this interesting techniques, styles and materials going round, it is rare and quite special to see a house where the construction elements speak for themselves, and although high-quality design had been involved, the raw beauty of the materials take centre stage.
Today we will look at one such example coming to us all the way from Japan. This beautiful home in the woods is such an excellent example of modern architecture with a reverence for traditional and natural building materials. You are sure to be swept up in the peaceful splendour of this family home, and attention to detail will bring many small pleasures. Let's waste no further time and go take a closer look…
Welcome to the Hiroaki House, a project completed by Nobuyoshi Hayashi, based in Nagoya City, Japan. As you can see from this very first image of the ideabook, the house is situated in a wooded area, immediately transporting the residence to a tranquil and secluded location. In the midst of this serene scene, we find this charming house, which immediately draws you in with its natural and rustic qualities.
The structure features a great deal of stone and wood, which seem to be the two central materials in the design. Not only are these natural features strong focal points on their own merit, but it also resonates so well with the environment, that the structure almost seems part of the natural setting.
Moving into the house, we start at a very natural point of entry—the front door. The entryway of a home is always very revealing of what is to expect in the rest of the home. It is a summary of a building, and any interior designer worth his/her salt will make sure to create the right impression in this space to set the tone for the rest of the home. If you're not too sure about that, take a look at: Just how good of an impression you can make with your entrance hall!
In this house, we can see that the entrance hall had been given due consideration, as it sets the mood for the rest of the home, whilst also retaining a strong bond with the building's natural surroundings. The space relies heavily on wooden elements, and we can see stone tiles used in the flooring. The repetition of these two core elements creates a continuity with the house's facade.
There are a few ornamental objects in this area, but nothing ostentatious, laying the groundwork for the simplicity of the home's interior which we will see later on.
If we take a few steps further into the house, we will find ourselves in this inner sanctum, which is the heart of the home. This open-plan living area is the central space in the home's interior, and comprises of a dining area, lounge space, and library section. We can also see that this is an open-plan living space on the vertical planes, just as in a horizontal sense. The loft space on the second floor allows for a view over the lower level, which we will look at in just a moment.
The spiral staircase which leads up to the loft area is simple and unobtrusive, ensuring a clear and unhindered transitory space to the second level. On the wall behind it, we can see a shelving unit which leaves the aesthetic value of the space to be made up of the owner's book collection.
Once again we can see wood featuring here to a large extent. Not only is it used in the walls, floor and ceiling, but it is also used predominantly for the furniture in this space. Stone is lacking here as the other part of the duo, as a warmer ambience was surely required for the interiors, which wood can readily provide.
Now for that view from the loft level, as promised. This vantage point provides us with a perfect view of the entire living space, and how the different interior elements fit together as an ensemble. From here, we can also see the huge glass doors leading out to a patio area, and the light which this feature allows to permeate the interior of the home. Indeed, the overwhelming appearance of this space is that of a light and bright room. In addition to the ample natural light which streams in through the glass, we can also see large pendant lights hanging from the ceiling. These LED orbs and the sunlight are further complemented by the use of neutral colours for the walls and curtains. This is an excellent design, as such a large and open space should not be weighed down by dark features.
As we make our exit from this spectacularly simple and warm family home in the woods, we take a last look of the interior over the gracious little patio on the outside. This space takes on the shape of an alcove nestled into the equivalent outdoor area of the open-plan living area on the inside. Timber panels on the walls and ceiling of the space make this a warm and gentle area, as well as slotting in well with the natural surroundings. The flooring here is once again stone, continuing the theme we saw in the facade and entryway. A single pendant light hangs in the centre of the ceiling, reminiscent of a candle in a window signalling the wait for a loved one to return home.
This was certainly a warm and welcoming family home, well-suited to its environment and prominent in its use of natural materials as the focus of the design. Innovation and tradition meet to produce this warm and contemporary feature!