Private Paradise: Craftily Hidden Japanese Home & Garden


private home

Open, light and green – hardly words you would expect to describe a house that appears to be a windowless box to outside observers. Yet this remarkable architecture elegantly solves challenging contextual privacy issues without sacrificing the essential comforts of a happy home.

private home problem solution

A series of apartment buildings on multiple sides tower stories above this single-family dwelling, raising questions about how to provide privacy without cutting off fresh air or sacrificing garden greenery.

private minimal house night

The solution by Arbol Design involved a bold move in the form of a tall cedar wall wrapping the whole home like a fence, adding copious fenestration to the exterior of the home itself, and creating an airy open interstitial space in between.

private home interstitial space

Floor-to-ceiling windows help the whole house feel directly connected to the outdoors, all while shielding residents from prying eyes.

private house contextual design

In select places, thin slits between vertical slates allow views out from up close, but are narrow enough not to let people see in from a distance.

privacy plan japanese house

Outside of those small slots, though, there is hardly a window to be seen, yet the whole structure still feels more open to the outside (from within) than most homes.

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