Japanese architect Hiroto Kawaguchi in collaboration with Kohei Yukawa built a family house overlooking the picturesque Japanese landscape. There were several aims while constructing: first of all, create three different spaces – the parent’s house, the children’s house and ‘everyone’s house’. While keeping the central space open for everyone of the house, both the parents’ and the children’s houses stay open and connected. Second, the house should provide the views of the clear blue skies as well as the cherry blossom trees around it.
The result was called Newtown, and it’s a residence that emits the sense of ‘living in the landscape’ due to the surrounding series of house-like volumes. ‘Everyone’s house’ is a continuous space both inside and out, and has varying floors with differing meanings to each level. The hallway is a continuous space that can act as either a playground for the children, a study room for the family, or become a living room.
The inner décor is done in Japanese minimalist style, which has already become traditional for this country. Most of the spaces are covered with light-colored wood, there is some upholstered furniture but not much. Such clean interiors don’t distract attention from the landscape and from communicating with each other.
The inclined wooden ceiling found in each space is made continuous so that the human area and the scaled out volume can coexist. The slope of the ceiling connects to the outside area via the balcony, so that the residents experience the mountain ranges on the east and Newtown in the west. By rearranging and reconstructing the spaces of the house, the architects created a new relationship between the people and the landscape.