House in Nanjo

Born from the culture of the Southern Japanese islands of Okinawa, a bungalow in the small city of Nanjo uses a limited material palette and monumental proportions to create long landscape-framing views. The design by local firm Matsuyama architect and associates, the dwelling is a tectonically rich abstraction of the large-scale gusuku sites prevalent throughout the Southeastern parts of Japan. These nine sacred site throughout okinawa are a mix of castles and rocky compositions of shinto shrines. The home channels the grand scale of the Nanjo's sacred site 'Sefa-Utaki', comprised of a number of caves and overhanging ledges.

Using slate-colored textured concrete and reinforced slabs the home's orthogonal mass is carved with recessed apertures that seem to replicate and streamline the ancient shrine's openings toward a promontory. While the landscape is framed by impressive arrangements of stone, the home clads the set back windows with luxuriously grained and reddish-purple hued wood panels. The cladding extends into the living spaces and is cut with a generous square panel of glazing. the living room itself is the programmatic heart of the home and organizes the axial plan with views of the surrounding manicured greenery. The remaining gathering spaces for the family are thick within the building's layered spaces.

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  • Nadezhda Nikolova
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