How Does A Modern Japanese House Look Like? 6 Interesting Design Ideas

Traditional Japanese architecture is easily recognizable and all the ancient temples and structures look absolutely mesmerizing. Modern Japanese houses on the other hand are very different. We were interested to find out a few examples of how a modern Japanese house might look like currently and we can’t wait to show you our favorite ones.

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This is a residence designed by studio Takashi Okuno. On the outside it has a simple and modern look and the colors used on the exterior walls and the facades in general are based around white and gray tones. On the inside the design is a bit different, taking a more classical and traditional turn but still maintaining a modern character. Warm wooden surfaces and furnishings are spread throughout the entire house creating a very simple but at the same time pleasant and welcoming ambiance. There’s an open living area that connects to the main courtyard and a wooden deck designed to make the transition smooth and natural. This lovely home was designed for an elderly couple

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This modern Japanese house also retains several classical details in its design, most notably the sliding louvers and extensive use of natural wood all throughout the project. What’s interesting and also inspiring in this case is that the site on which the house was built is small but that doesn’t stop the structure from looking amazing. Studio T-Square Design Associates took advantage of the fact that the site only has neighbors on one side and opened up the house to its surroundings. The connection between the indoor and the outdoor is emphasized through a series of hybrid spaces which are neither entirely indoor or outdoor and are sheltered beneath the extended roof.

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Like a lot of other modern Japanese houses, this one is small. It was designed by studio Takeru Shoji Architects and covers an area of 107.7 square meters. It has a slanted roof and a very simple design both inside and out. Internally, a lot of the spaces seem to be defined by long corridors and have narrow layouts. The first floor houses the living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom and they’re all arranged in a row and linked to a side hallway. A 12-meter long bookshelf goes along this corridor. Another interesting design detail is the fact that there’s a garden one level below which stretches around the rooms, with trees and greenery. 

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This right here is not a typical house in the sense it’s not just that. It’s a 6-story high building comprised of residential, office and retail spaces, designed by studio Ryo Matsui Architects. It’s a tall and narrow structure and all the areas at the front facing the road have these large sliding doors. This allows them to be visually expanded outdoors and to become better integrated with the surroundings. Considering the design and also the structure and diversified use of this entire structure, it would be safe to say that this is a rather unusual Japanese house.

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Another modern Japanese house with a very interesting design was created by studio Arbol and is located in Akashi. Initially it looks like a giant wooden box. Once inside, a unique layout is unveiled. The house is organized into three volumes created around three internal courtyards. These courtyards are filled with fruit trees and vegetation and are also used as open areas for drying clothes which is unusual but also clever and practical. The rooms inside this wooden bungalow are simple and almost modest, embracing the classical Japanese style.

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This would have to be one of the most striking houses on our list and it’s also one of the narrowest. As you can clearly see from the outside, this modern Japanese house is structured into a series of blocks. There’s a narrow concrete volume which includes the main entrance, a black overhanging volume and another volume at the rear which is clad in corrugated metal. The house was designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects. By dividing it into these modules they were able to maximize the views available from the site. At the same time, carefully-positioned windows ensure the privacy of the inhabitants and allow them to admire the outdoors without exposing the interior spaces.