This contemporary home in Nagoya, Japan, was nicknamed The Nest House by architect Takuya Tsuchida, who wanted to ‘give the feeling of living in a nest’ without feeling tied to a nest’s natural form. ‘I abstracted the nest idea and used it as a starting point for the home’s architecture,’ says Tsuchida.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here A couple and their young child
Location Matsumoto City, Nagano, Japan
Size 1,050 sq ft
That’s interesting The house is in a town that prides itself on its world-famous soba and wasabi farms
Tsuchida minimised the cost of soil disposal by using soil displaced by the house as an embankment around the structure. The guiding principles of innovation, simplicity and functionality were more important to the architect than creating what’s typically considered a ‘beautiful’ home.
Tsuchida says it’s not uncommon to live simply on a sliver of land in Japan. ‘Rice fields belonging to my clients and to their community surround their property, so the plot for their house was limited to land that is thin and long; we just obediently followed it,’ says Tsuchida.
‘My initial instinct was to capture the feeling of the surrounding environment,’ says Tsuchida, who found plenty of inspiration in Matsumoto’s lush landscape. Hills and mountains frequented by hikers and climbers, world-renowned natural spring water and hot springs are nearby.
Exterior material, reinforced concrete.
Sheltered within the nest’s recycled wood chipboard walls is the little dove it works so hard to protect, seen here at play in the living area. The décor of the interior is minimalist modern with industrial touches: concrete blocks stand in place of a flashy media console, plain bulbs and streamlined pendants hang from the ceiling, and modern furnishings in neutral colours fill the space.Get advice for decorating a long, thin room
This dining area shows minimalism at its best: walls with an organic pattern, furniture with clean lines, a muted and neutral colour palette, and natural light.
A freestanding modular kitchen (right) is parallel to the kitchen island, used for food preparation, for storage and as a workstation.Browse kitchen island ideas
Tsuchida invited his clients to define their interior spaces and level of privacy through furniture placement.
True to their minimalist spirit, the family opted to have niches instead of floating shelves or visually interruptive bookcases. Floor real estate is devoted to necessary possessions.
Likewise, the master bedroom stays in line with the homeowners' minimalist style.
The tatami sitting room and bedrooms are lower than the level of the space outside them; this is so that all those who come into the rooms have a feeling of entering and leaving the space.
The bathroom offers a glimpse into the daily Japanese bathing – and conservation – ritual of thoroughly rinsing the body before entering a soaking tub filled with hot water; the bathwater is meant to remain clean and soap free for the next person to use.
A courtyard on the northwest part of the property allows the family access to the outdoors; the area is partly shaded and obscured by the trees surrounding the area.
‘Architecture is an artificial construct. But even though the structure was designed, the house manages to feel organic in many ways,’ says Tsuchida. Here, a sunset shot captures how the natural world (rice paddies) and the manmade abstract idea (the house) coexist harmoniously.
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