modern Houses by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

A Striking Home To Challenge The Status Quo

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
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Japanese architect Kenji Yanagawa created this innovative home with the aim of establishing an interesting line of sight and creating a break in the uniformity of the residential buildings in the neighbourhood. The client who commissioned the architect intended to challenge the status quo, breaking the monotony while still taking into consideration the architectural character of the surrounding homes, all of which where built about 40 years prior to the redevelopment of this now highly unique home. The finished result is a striking facade and minimalist-inspired structure that plays with the power of light and depth.

The New Kid on the Block

modern Houses by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

There's no questioning the bold nature of this recently built home! This glaring white mass made of reinforced concrete is entirely unexpected on this row of uniform, ordered homes. However, despite the bold, blocky statement that this window-less facade makes, it's still characterized by a sense of openness due to the way it appears to hovers above a welcoming open space at street level. This cut-out also offers a convenient sheltered spot for parking a car. Moreover, the way that the home is positioned at the front of the lot creates a sense of openness and friendliness with the passing street, taking what could be a very closed-off design and turning it into a friendly, forward, hello!

At first glance, this design may appear showy, but it's also completely practical: as a garden often does best on the South side of a home, this home has been pushed forward towards the street – the North side of the lot – in order to accommodate a garden in the warmer, sunnier half of the lot. 

If you get a kick out of this structure's ability to play with old and new, have a look at this ideabook featuring a home that's historic on the outside and unexpectedly modern on the inside!

A night view

modern Houses by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The brilliant, reflective white has turned dark grey as the sun sets, and as the house offers a minimalist, unadorned surface, the exterior walls seem to blend almost seamlessly with the dusky sky. At night, it's easy to see the the attention-grabbing tree that's growing up in the facade's niche, providing a slide of nature in the least expected of places! The illumination causes the space to glow, infusing the nature-inspired space with a lively golden light!

On the left, a glossy driveway rests under the rectangular overhang provided by the cantilevered design of the home – just one of the many instances where this home's avant-garde design is as practical as it is adventurous. 

The parking spot

modern Garage/shed by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

It's not every day that you come across a garage as glamorous as this one. There are no bells and whistles, but this minimalist space is striking in its simplicity. Notice how the smooth concrete floor is intermingled with smooth, round rocks, creating a contrast of textures that brings variety and texture to the space. 

The backyard

modern Houses by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

In the back of the home, a metallic stairway descends from the white exterior walls, providing access to the backyard landing where the plants are sure to be benefitting from all of the sunlight reflecting off of the brilliant white walls of the home. Another staircase below – this one picking up the home's pure white theme – descends all the way to street level, once again turning an imposing structure into a friendly and practical addition to the neighborhood.

A night view of the deck

modern Houses by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

Here, a second-level deck was created in order to give the family access to outdoor space, allowing their children to play in the outdoors and forming a space where the family can host outdoor gatherings while still enjoying a sense of privacy from nearby homes. At night, the way this home is illuminated draws attention to the solid lines and and sharp angles that characterize its design, making for a clean, fresh, and brilliant backyard.

A minimalist living room

modern Living room by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The most dominant aspect of this room is not what's in it, but rather, what's not! This living room affords ample space for play, projects, and other family activities, while offering just enough furniture to make the space useful as a living room. The smooth wooden floor acts as a wide open stage for each piece of furniture, allowing every single piece to shine in its own spotlight of uniqueness.

Long lines throughout the room draw your attention to its generous dimensions – a bench along the left pulls your gaze into the distance, and a large crossbeam in the back of the room draws attention to both its height and its width. The white ceiling only enhances this spacious feeling by appearing to fade nonchalantly into the space overhead.  

A brilliant dining space

modern Dining room by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

Despite the fact that the majority of the exterior walls feature no windows, the interior of the home is surprisingly well lit, due to the shaft of light that enters through the courtyard where the tree is growing. This minimalist dining room benefits from this brilliant light, so bright that it almost renders the polished dining room table invisible. 

There's something to be said for the less-is-more, minimalist approach when it comes to creating a peaceful, clean, and organized dining room. If this home's got you inspired to start downsizing, here's an ideabook to help you do it!

A bedroom of textures

modern Bedroom by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

For the first time in the tour, you see texture that goes beyond smooth and polished. In the bedroom, the grainy texture of concrete covers the walls, while a plush rugs fills the bedroom floor with a soft look. With two beds pushed together side by side, a bedside plant, ample views of the outside landscape, and a bedside reading light, this simple bedroom has everything that you need – and nothing that you don't. 

A bathroom with a private view

modern Bathroom by Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates
Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

The House supplies a monotonous street with a passing view

Kenji Yanagawa Architect and Associates

This unusual bathroom features a tub right next to the window – because the house receives its light from an interior-facing courtyard, this family enjoys the luxury of a bathtub window that's completely private! The rest of the bathroom enjoys this light, as the walls have been erased and replaced with transparent glass partitions that allow light – as well as your line of vision – to pass through the room.

What do you think of this minimalist home? Share your thoughts below.
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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