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FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects, Japan, House

Robust Elegance: Photographer’s House by Kouichi Kimura

This photographer’s house stands along a thoroughfare in a rural area characterized by traditional wooden buildings. A village shrine stands just opposite the new house. The house, which is made of concrete and has a façade of galvanized sheet metal, is strikingly different from its “inoffensive” neighbours. With its radically closed-off streetside façade, it almost looks like a storage building. Only a second look reveals that it must be a special house indeed.

The L-shaped structure accommodates a studio, a gallery and living space for the photographer. With respect to design, the living and working spaces stand in stark contrast to each other: while the gleaming white-painted studio and gallery seem abstract and reduced, the walls and floors in the living area have been generously clad with wood, which creates a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Skylights in the studio area provide a steady light; on the other hand, the living spaces are dominated by windows of various sizes hat bring the surrounding landscape into the house.

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