House in Heguri, Kyoto

Designed by Yousaka Tsusumi of Arbol Design, this single-story house in Heguri, Nara is a testament to the belief that simplicity and nature can harmoniously coexist. With a focus on functionality and surrounding oneself with cherished possessions, this 45sqm/484sqft dwelling offers a Japanese family of five a serene living experience in a quiet residential area surrounded by picturesque mountains, rivers, and rice fields.

A visitor’s eyes are drawn to the towering wooden gates that mark the entrance. These gates, consisting of four individual movable doors, provide flexibility and allow inhabitants to customize their experience based on their preferences. The open doors reveal a galvanized steel-clad house, which, when combined with a covered roof, transforms the entrance into a porch and outdoor living space. A wooden box acts as both a bench and a storage unit for shoes, ensuring a clutter-free entryway.

Upon entering, three doors lead directly to the living, dining, and kitchen areas. The raised living room features a cozy sofa, a television, and carefully curated pieces collected by the family. Long and narrow windows adorn the sides, inviting ample natural light to illuminate the space. The dining area boasts a large table that doubles as a kitchen surface, enabling both seated and standing meal preparations. The chosen dining chairs reflect the family’s tastes and preference.

The kitchen, constructed with stainless steel, seamlessly blends functionality with aesthetic appeal. The cabinets, made from Mortex, match the material of the dining table, creating a cohesive visual flow. Equipped with a gas stove, fish grill, and ample closed storage, the kitchen efficiently caters to the family’s culinary needs. A strategically placed door opens to a terrace, providing convenience for bringing in laundry during sudden rain showers.

The main bedroom serves as a communal sleeping space for the entire family. By utilizing futons, the room can transform into a multipurpose area during the day, catering to various needs. The second bedroom, currently serving as an office, will eventually transition into a children’s room with a bunk bed. Ample built-in closet space ensures organization and functionality in both rooms.

Adjacent to the bedrooms, the utility zone houses a wash basin, toilet, washing machine, closet, and clothes drying area. The tiled wash area offers storage behind a mirror, while the tankless toilet maximizes space utilization. Natural light and air circulation permeate the laundry area, facilitating quick and efficient drying. With additional storage space underneath, this zone seamlessly combines practicality and aesthetics.

Images by NeverTooSmall