Kofunaki House stairs and loft

Back yards are only so private, and in some cities, most people do not have space for one anyway. So how do you make your house feel like a home when limited to indoor improvements?

ALTS Design Office designed this Japanese residence with an atrium-like feel thanks to plenty of windows to bring in light and connect residents to the outdoors. But they also established a lovely two-story open space with greenery, rocks and a walkway to make it feel like a Zen garden.

Kofunaki House indoor garden

What is remarkable in this, but in some ways typical of the region, is how a few sparse-seeming elements create a sense of organic minimalism – not the sometimes-inhumane absence of detail often associated with high modernist homes.

Kofunaki House white curtains

While most of the core elements remain practical and linear, the few curves and natural details help break up the rigidity of the otherwise-conventional a-frame format.

Kofunaki House courtyard

From the architects:

“Original people from ancient times was loved and it has lived with nature. Especially the Japanese always enjoy change of the four seasons for every season, and came as a part of life. People live with nature. Sometimes it may live inconveniently and it may not sometimes work that it takes time and effort.”

Kofunaki House upstairs

“However, a natural light and comfortable wind, and many plants give us the value beyond it. It grows up to be healing at affluence and a smiling face and strong emotional attachment. We were grounds called this eco-village, gazed at living with nature and recreated to the housing.”

“We decided that this theme of ours lives woods in woods in a home.( woods .. saying ) A home is divided inside and outside completely, and is not considered, but inside and outside are connected more gently, and people are beginning to make the space which can always feel woods, feel nature, and enjoy the season which moves and passes away. It could live brilliantly by the ability to soften a family’s heart, and could grow up a family with woods. The proposal of a rich new life which people enjoy space and enjoys a life.”