Modern Zen Design House with Ecology

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At just 120 sqm, this compact house is small but smart and structural sufficient.
The house has simplistic volumes coupled with mute colors and clean materials, giving it a very zen-like atmosphere.
A photovoltaic power system covers all the consumption of electric power within the house. The house uses special windows to prevent outsiders to view the interior of the house, but still allows abundant natural lighting to enter.
The zen interior is “not about living in empty rooms or areas, but about creating true well-being for body and soul.”

『Japanese Aesthetic Principles』

1、簡素: Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential.

2、不均整: Asymmetry or irregularity. The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic. The enso ("Zen circle") in brush painting, for example, is often drawn as an incomplete circle, symbolizing the imperfection that is part of existence. In graphic design too asymmetrical balance is a dynamic, beautiful thing. Try looking for (or creating) beauty in balanced asymmetry. Nature itself is full of beauty and harmonious relationships that are asymmetrical yet balanced. This is a dynamic beauty that attracts and engages.

3、渋味: Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Direct and simple way, without being flashy. Elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. The term is sometimes used today to describe something cool but beautifully minimalist, including technology and some consumer products. (Shibui literally means bitter tasting).

4、自然: Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality, full creative intent unforced. Ironically, the spontaneous nature of the Japanese garden that the viewer perceives is not accidental. This is a reminder that design is not an accident, even when we are trying to create a natural-feeling environment. It is not a raw nature as such but one with more purpose and intention.

5、幽玄: Profundity or suggestion rather than revelation. A Japanese garden, for example, can be said to be a collection of subtleties and symbolic elements. Photographers and designers can surely think of many ways to visually imply more by not showing the whole, that is, showing more by showing less.

6、脱俗: Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional. This principles describes the feeling of surprise and a bit of amazement when one realizes they can have freedom from the conventional. Professor Tierney says that the Japanese garden itself, "...made with the raw materials of nature and its success in revealing the essence of natural things to us is an ultimate surprise. Many surprises await at almost every turn in a Japanese Garden."

7、静寂: Tranquility or an energized calm (quite), stillness, solitude. This is related to the feeling you may have when in a Japanese garden. The opposite feeling to one expressed by seijaku would be noise and disturbance. How might we bring a feeling of "active calm" and stillness to ephemeral designs outside the Zen arts?

8、和: Harmony, peace, balance. Wa is the character that designates something as Japanese or Japanese-made such as in washoku (food), washitsu (room style), wafuku (traditional clothes), wagasa (traditional umbrella), and so on. The idea of harmony and balance is fundamental to Japanese culture and human relationships. Harmony is a key aspect of design sensibilities in Japan. Aesthetically, wa is fundamental to all good design.

9、間: Empty, spatial void, interval of space or time. The concept of ma can be found in many of the Zen arts, including traditional gardens and ikebana, Noh theater, and so on. Ma does not just mean the kind of empty space that is background; the emptiness is often arranged to be a focal point. Ma allows for an energy or sense of movement within a design. Ma may show itself in traditional music in the form of silence or pauses. In ikebana the idea of emptiness allows for each flower to breathe and also reveals the contrasts and the balance found in the asymmetrical arrangement.

10、余白の美: Appreciation of the beauty found in that portion that is implied, unstated, or unexpressed in a work of art. An idea close to the modern idea of “ less is more.” Its focus is on what was left out. Related to the Zen ideal of ku (emptiness) and mu (nothingness). You can see the idea expressed in Zen gardens that feature large sections of raked sand or gravel and in ink paintings that leave large sections of the paper untouched. The term literally means "beauty of extra white." Although the term dates back centuries, you still hear it today.

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