150 Best Minimalist House Ideas (2014)

House of Silence

Architect: FORM / Kouichi Kimura Architects

Location: Shiga, Japan

Photography: Takumi Ota

Rather than blending in with the neighboring small, traditionally designed houses, this house is monolithic and monumental. It was built from concrete and dark-colored brick, and its few openings give little indication of what its interior is like. The limited selection of materials used to create it in combination with the rays of light piercing through it, creates a monastic atmosphere; thus the name, the House of Silence.

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This two-story house is a complex composition of interlocking volumes that create positive and negative spaces. These spaces capture light, contributing to the spaciousness of its interiors.

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The interior is characterized by diaphanous spaces, courtyards, and different floor levels and ceiling heights. Interior and exterior framing achieves a surprising effect.

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Dark floors ground a room, drawing attention downward. High ceilings make it look more spacious and give it an airier feel.

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Set panels off walls and emphasize soffits and dropped ceilings. These tricks highlight the contrasting effect produced by a new construction inserted into an existing shell.

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Black steel has a black oxide coating. It is a good material for producing furniture because of its thin profile and its attractive dark patina, which offers a sophisticated look suitable for modern interiors.

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With frameless windows, the glass area is maximized to make the most of views and natural light. The minimalist window system integrates into the façade with its almost invisible fittings.

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