Bringing the outdoors, in is something Japanese architects excel at. Numerous theories – land constraint-mandated lack of gardens, historic revere for nature, etc. – collectively explain the phenomenon. But a recent trend in architecture has taken the concept of subtly blending barriers and thrown it out the window. Instead, architects are ditching potted nurseries and, instead, planting gardens right in the heart of living spaces. We first noticed the trend last year with this house that incorporates a rock garden into the living area. And several others followed, which tells us that home-owners are warming up to the new definition of indoor gardens.
And the latest home to emerge is certainly a beauty. “Kofunaki House” was completed in March and is the latest residential project by Shiga-based ALTS Design Office. The Studio, which is headed up by Yoshitaka Kuga and Sumiou Mizumoto, are known for their relaxing, open spaces that emphasize nature as a means to a richer lifestyle. And Kofunaki House is no exception. Nestled within an eco village nearby lake Biwa, the home, with its nature-filled interior, is a kickback to traditional Japanese homes (minka) that often incorporated a dirt floor (doma). And using wood as the primary material within the home, the architects succeeded at creating a rich environment that blends rural and modern.