Stark Simple House Conceals Bright, Complex Interiors

What appears to be a stark, simple white home in an archetypal shape on the outskirts of Tokyo is actually one massive envelope containing a wide open interior with an unexpected geometric layout. House H by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects is a creative reinterpretation of a suburban home originally built in the 1960s, altered to create an airy, versatile living space.

From the outside, the home is a monolithic study in contrasts. The majority of the shell is an opaque white punctuated by just a few windows in basic shapes. But large, angular glass cutouts slice into the home, providing an intriguing glimpse at the tree-like wooden structures inside.

Y-shaped supports stretch from the pale pine floor all the way up to the roof to create a sort of artificial forest. Some are left open, while others contain solid panels that separate one ‘room’ from another.

The rooms are unconventional, as well: six platforms staggered through the large open space create lofts at varying levels. The columns provide a bit of separation between the living room, kitchen and dining area downstairs while maintaining a sense of connection to the entire home.

Stairs lead from the first floor to the split-level second floor, and ladders provide access to the lofts and terraced spaces above. Rethinking the standard of stacked floors and enclosed rooms gives the home a sense of kinetic energy, while the white-on-pine palette makes it a tranquil escape.

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