Garden House by mA-style Architects
The garden of an older home is the setting for this outwardly-focused house. A newly-wed couple were offered space to build their new home in his parent’s backyard. They wanted a small house that would preserve and take advantage of the existing landscaping. mA-style Architects designed a low-slung house that minimizes the boundaries between inside and out.
The house reads as a grouping of wood-clad boxes united by a shared flat roof and concrete base. Each box houses a particular function: bedroom, kitchen, bath. The social spaces occupy the open area between the boxes. With the vertical cedar cladding of the boxes continuing inside and only a wall of sliding glass doors separating it from the garden, the living area has an amorphous character. When the window wall is fully opened, the space becomes more of a covered patio open to breezes and the scents of the garden.
The focus remains on the outside even with the glass doors closed. The architect kept the trim, fittings and other distracting details to a minimum. The entrance and master bedroom both have windows offering views of a small pond in the back. The corridor running through the house has windows at both ends that give the residents a quick view of greenery as they go about their daily tasks, as seen in the photo above. Those windows are possible because the corridor was extended to the very ends of the house, taking up space that could have been used to enlarge the adjoining rooms. But, sometimes increased livability is worth a bit of lost space.
The 91.1 m<sup2 (980 ft<sup2) house has two bedrooms. The smaller of the two is marked as “storage” on the floor plan, but it has windows and looks big enough to be used as a bedroom.
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Photographs by Kai Nakamura, courtesy of mA-style Architects.
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