This small house in a suburb of Kyoto was designed by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio. The house appears ordinary at first glance, with its simple rectangular form and gabled roof, but it was designed with attention to detail and quality materials. The house has real wood siding, which is quite rare to see on new houses in Japan these days. With land being very expensive, many homebuilders try to cut costs by using cheap exterior finishes. By building smaller, you can use some of the savings to splurge on a better grade of finishes and fixtures.
The house has a traditional Japanese entry sequence with a front door that slides open and leads to the genkan, a sunken area for removing shoes. However the architect incorporated an unexpected element into this traditional entry. You have to look closely to see it in the photo above, but the front stoop is sheltered by a very modernist metal plate jutting straight out of the wall.