Today we will take a tour of the simple Nishisakabe of House by Wakayama Architects in Yokkaichi, Japan. The house has been cleverly conceptualized. This rectangular-shaped house has been erected on a small plot of land. There is neither any sprawling effect; nor any landscaped view. The house looks every bit functional as it is. The industrial black which is the dominant colour palette at the outsides gives you a Dickensian utilitarian feel. But as you look closely, you are left to feel if that is all? Let’s take a tour inside to know more about the house!
Keeping to the Japanese philosophy of simple is beautiful; this house has maintained a sleek clean design. There is no elaborate design; no ornamentation, but there is a sense of simple functionality pervading through the entire architecture. It is hard to distinguish between the two storeys; it seems as if both the storeys are part of one single structure. The touches of white in the window and the door cut through the monotonous black. There is an unmistakable touch of green in the backyard which helps to create a nice diversion.
As you enter through the door, the first thing that you will notice is the wooden floor; and then you will note the colour palette. Unlike black, white is the predominant shade in the interiors. The contrast of black and white is quite interesting; and you may find it deliberate as it creates a diverse effect on the onlooker. Take a step back and you will find a beautiful staircase which will take you upstairs. The initial few steps are in white keeping to the larger colour palette. However, as you proceed further, you will note the presence of the wooden tone in the last few steps. And you are left to wonder whether this scheme of contrast is a deliberate choice at every part of the house.
It is hard to believe that an entire floor is dedicated to a kitchen. Well, the second storey of the house is dedicated to a large open kitchen. You will notice a large three-burner stove, a large sink and enough space to do your cutting and chopping. And if you are entertaining guests, you can arrange for dinner while you talk and chat. In many ways, it will remind you of a commercial kitchen, especially the presence of steel friers, burners and sink. Even the kitchen chimney may seem a little big for a small house. But when food is the occasion, everything is a celebration. There is a large table set against the wall, where you can pull up chairs and sit. Although it gives a canteen-like feel, you may find this informal setting quite interesting. And if you are bored, you can always take your food outside on the balcony; sip a glass of wine while you enjoy the good food and the great company.
The kitchen opens to this beautiful deck which is one of the important highlights of this house. Upon closer look, it will seem as if the kitchen has spilled into the deck. One full wall in the kitchen is entirely dedicated to windows, so that when you cook, you have an uninterrupted view of the surroundings. It is truly an ‘open’ kitchen in the literal sense of the term. As you look at the ceiling of the kitchen, you will notice an interesting feature. A portion of the ceiling has the same wooden tone like the floor; maybe a shade darker. But this definitely contributes to the sense of continuity which flows through the entire structure. Even the exteriors with the same black colour accentuated the feeling.
There are many fascinating elements in the house, and unless you start exploring you will never know them. As you step out of the open kitchen, you notice a secret passage which leads to a door. On first look, it may seem mysterious and even strange. But this will probably lead you to another room. It is a wall which creates the segregation between the kitchen and the passage; but if you look from a distance, it will seem as if they are part of one big hall.
There is a strange dichotomy in the house; it is difficult to understand whether one should consider the house as a whole in its entirety or simply consider the individual portions that create the whole. But it is the dichotomy which makes this house charming.
Check out another fascinating piece of modern architecture here: Hitting All the Right Modern Notes: Urban Home Imagine