The Makinohara, Japan-based architecture firm mA-style finished the design of this extension for a young couple’s house next to the main family home in Yaizu last year, but we still find this one of the more elegant designs we have seen in a long time. The house that was extended is an one-storey Japanese-style house with an area of approximately 200 m², a very common house seen in rural areas. The house is large and has many spacious rooms where the whole family can gather and socialize, but the young couple wanted a new quiet space that would ensure them a private area. A simple extension would enable them to seclude, but the connection with the main house might get lost which they wanted to prevent. Therefore, by utilizing the functions for living in the main house, the extension is designed as a minimum living space pursuing distance without losing contact, very in line with the complexity of delicate Japanese social interaction and inherent serenity. Above all it’s a space of stunning beauty one sees rarely.
The point of contact between the extension and the house is a connecting-corridor to the west side of the main house, giving the occupants time to change their mindset before entering the other living space, with the shared garden laying in between. The inhabitants can count a large kitchen, bathroom and future children’s room in the main house so the extension only had to serve a few living functions. The space consists of a simple, continuous structure surrounded by small, 2 metre-high U-shaped support walls. A 69mm-thin roof covers a V-beam roof truss formed out of 62mm panels clad with structural plywood on both sides. The overlapping of the load-bearing walls and V-beam frame plus the adoption of several different finishes create contrasting spaces and instil a vertical sense of scale in the beautiful space.
As a result, light and air circulate freely throughout the residents’ living spaces and the sight-lines extend beyond to bring a sense of freedom in this perfect getaway next to main house.
mA-style architects is an architectural firm based in Makinohara, which is a medium-sized city in the Shizuoka prefecture, Japan and was founded by Atsushi Kawamoto and Mayumi Kawamoto in 2004, both from Shizuoka city. The duo has been gathering both critical acclaim as commercial success with a string of projects in which they created light and oftenly open spaces, using different kinds of wood, very much within the Japanese tradition, mixed with Scandinavian influences. Over the last few years mA-style architects have received several prices for its designs, among which are the special Jury price of the LIXIL design contest and the JIA Tokai Residential Architecture Award.
Photography by Kai Nakamura.
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