A young couple living with extended family in a rural, traditional-style Japanese home now have their own private retreat thanks to a modern extension by mA-style Architects. The new volume, primarily made of plywood, is connected to the main home by a narrow passageway that cuts through the garden, providing easy access to the family while maintaining their own separate space.
The addition stands alone, with its own small kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom. The main house offers expanded facilities and common space for the entire family. The single-story home gets a boost in height from a V-beam roof truss for a loft-like feel with extra storage.
Ladders and stairs lead up to these storage spaces along the perimeter of the home, as well as a lofted bedroom. The home is finished in white and pale wood tones to encourage the expression of the young couple’s individual style.
The extension is made of sandwiched 62-millimeter plywood panels topped with a thin roof. This lightweight construction looks a bit more substantial than it is thanks to the edges that overhang the load-bearing walls. Such a construction style is common in Japan, where houses are typically built to last about 25 years.
“By relying on the main house for the large kitchen, bathroom, and future children’s room, only a few functions for a living space are required for the extended part. The living spaces are aggregated into a simple continuous structure, which consists of small, 2m high, U-shaped bearing walls. A V-beam roof truss is made with 62mm panels and structural plywood on both sides, and it is topped with a 69mm thin roof. By overlapping the bearing walls and the V-beam frame, and by using a variety of finishes, contrasting spaces are created and a sense of scale in the vertical direction is born in the flat house. By doing so, as the residents’ living scenes unfold, light and air freely circulate in the space, and the people’s lines-of-sight extend beyond the area in a state of freedom. We intended to leave a rich blank space that fosters the imaginations of the residents.”