「和弦」~KAGEN~庭園のある家 ~KAGEN~ House with the garden

The worldview we have now - to add new buildings without disrupting that order. And to further deepen its appeal." This is the main pillar of the architectural plan. The main building was to be reconstructed while respecting these pillars and keeping the existing garden as it is.

When we first visited the site, the impressive Japanese garden was worthy of special mention. At the same time, we understood that the garden had been cherished and loved over a long period of time. For the client, the garden is a part of the "concept of living". The garden is a part of the daily life, and the daily life exists because of the garden.
Therefore, we thought that the building should have the same competence as the garden. In this case, "competence" refers to the impression of the building's appearance. If either side asserts itself too strongly, it could upset the balance. Both sides need to be balanced.

The building was constructed in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. Blessed with abundant nature, it is an atmospheric place deeply connected to history and literature. The richness of the old and good Japan can be glimpsed everywhere, and is expressed in the garden of the client who lives there. The garden is a circular garden, with a beautifully built hill with Sanzon-ishi stone and many famous trees.

The building was required to have an appropriate style, a calm appearance, and a "new charm" that would fit in with the location without any sense of incongruity. The basic structure is a conventional wooden frame construction, but some concrete design walls, which are not part of the structure, were installed to enhance the texture and sense of massiveness. The unique roof shape expresses the traditional Japanese house style. The deep eaves give the house a calm appearance with a low center of gravity both structurally and visually. The deep eaves of the house are compatible with the Japanese climate. In addition, the contrast of yin and yang brings an elegant beauty to the building. The shadow effect is the essence of a traditional Japanese house, and was a necessary element for the building in this garden. This is because the charm of a Japanese garden is not only about the beauty of the landscape. There is a worldview of the way of looking at the world. The natural landscape is used as a motif, and even a single stone has a variety of meanings. There is a projection of the imagination in Japanese formative culture, which is in keeping with the Japanese aesthetic of the four seasons.

The depth of the eaves also has its effect when viewing the garden from the interior. The line of the eaves and the ground are parallel to the window, and the alignment of the lines and the spacing of the walls bring a sense of perspective to the view. One of the living rooms has a room window that can be fully opened and stored in a small opening in the wall. This allows the magnificent old plum tree to be viewed like a painting.
As mentioned above, the layout of the rooms is based on the concept of appreciating the garden, and a storage room is located in the center of the building. From the LDK, one can enjoy a large maple tree on the east side of the site.

The flooring is made of Muaga flooring and travertine in some parts. The combination of wood and stone enhances the interior design. The ceiling is made of muaga wood as well as flooring, but some parts are plastered. In the Japanese-style room, charcoal board is used for the pole-rimmed ceiling. The walls are partially covered with concrete (cedar board formwork), and the entire wall is finished with plaster. Openings are placed in the right places for good ventilation.

It is said that breathing is the most important part of life. A place where one can breathe deeply, both physically and emotionally, enriches one's life. The most important aspect of this building was the fusion with the Japanese garden, which was clearly focused on the concept of "modernism without going too far" to express the meaning of architecture in the modern age. The use of natural materials in various parts of the building seems to make sense in terms of high livability and visual beauty.

The building is new, so it is physically new. However, we wanted to give it a "spirituality of inheriting the memory of time" by making it coexist with the history of the garden that has been nurtured over the years. We believe that Japanese culture is unique to Japan and should be carefully inherited. We would like to continue to deeply consider the role that architecture can play from the perspective of "cultural inheritance. For us, I feel that continuing to question the role of buildings is an essential element in every sense of the word.


  • Completion 2014.06
  • Building site Kurashiki, Okayama
  • Principal use private residence
  • Structure Wooden 2 stories
  • Photo Toru Kitamura