Japanese Traditional House
The Japanese traditional house made of wood is expected to last about twenty years before having to be repaired or rebuilt. Each year it is depreciated.
The interior design is what really sets the Japanese traditional house. With the exception of the entry way (genkan), the kitchen (dadikoro), the bathing room (sento), and the toilet (benjo), the rooms in a Japanese traditional house does not have a designated use.
A room can easily be a living room area, a bedroom, a dining room, or any combination. Large rooms are partitioned by fusuna, sliding doors made wood and thick paper. The paper used for fusuma is called washi. These sliding doors can be removed whenever a larger space is needed.
In large traditional houses, there was one large room, or lima (living space) that could be divided as needed. The smaller rooms like kitchen, bath and toilet were small extensions to one side. Rouka, or wooden-floored hallways, follow the edge of the home. Windows are made of wood and shoji paper, which is thin enough to let the light shine through.
Even Japanese houses tend to have one traditional Japanese room, called a washitsu. This room has tatami mats on the floors as used in Japanese traditional houses. Tatami are thick straw mats covered with stitched, woven rushes. Tatami are smooth and firm enough to walk on, while making a sleeping surface more comfortable than wood or stone.
The genkan is usually a step below the level of the rest of the house. When people enter the home, they leave their shoes in the genkan, pointed toward the door so they only need to slip them on when they are ready to go out. Indoor slippers are often worn inside the house.
The kitchen in most traditional Japanese homes will contain a stove with a very small oven and boiler and an electric refrigerator. Counter space for food preparation and a sink are also located in the kitchen.
Some modern houses in Japan have a…which is usually found in traditional houses in Japan.
KOU-AN Glass Tea House by Tokujin Yoshioka is Traveling Around Japan
There is something slightly different in the courtyard of the Shoren-in Buddhist Temple located in Kyoto, Japan. It looks like a glass house with simple architecture, with a completely transparent roof, walls, and stage floor. This is the KOU-AN Glass Tea House by Japanese designer, Tokujin Yoshioka, which brings a modern look to the traditional buildings used in Japanese culture to host tea ceremonies.
(KOU-AN Glass Tea House by Tokujin Yoshioka)
Since thousands of years ago, the tea ceremony has become a deep-rooted ancestral culture and cannot be separated from Japanese people’s lives to this day. Departing from history and the desire to introduce tea culture to the younger generation, Tokujin created the KOU-AN Glass Tea House as a response to efforts to preserve ancestral heritage by accommodating the aesthetics and beauty of the drinking tea ceremony in a contemporary structure.
(some people who are visiting the shrine also stop by the teahouse, they are wearing traditional Japanese clothes)
(some people use the teahouse for the tea ceremony)
The concept of KOU-AN Glass Tea House was presented at Glasstress, at the 54th La Bienalle Venezia event in 2011. Tokujin explained that this project is expected to be an opportunity to see and reminisce about the origins of Japanese culture.
(the temple is considered a very suitable place to put a teahouse because of the historical background)
Therefore, the structure of the KOU-AN Glass Tea House is “welcome” to stand next to the very historical Shore-in shrine in Kyoto, as it was built during the Heian period between 794 and 1185 AD. The myth is that teahouses in Japan have to be built in places with traditional landscapes. From this point of view, he thought it would be very suitable if the structure of the teahouse had a view of the historical city of Kyoto.
(almost all the material used is glass)
Made by the glass. The roof, walls, and floor structures of KOU-AN Glass Tea House are designed in such a way by adapting the original shape of a traditional teahouse. For the roof, the planes of glass are arranged in an overlapping manner supported by a slender steel frame featuring a mirrored surface. As for the floor, use a thick sheet of glass that has a wavy surface with a soft texture.
(incoming sunlight will create a color bias in the greenhouse)
(Rainbows in a glass house are produced by the reflection of light hitting the glass)
In the afternoon, or when the sun’s rays are right on the greenhouse, a beautiful rainbow light will be created. This light enters through the glass prisms on the roof which is then reflected onto the corrugated floor creating a visual like a rainbow shimmer that adorns the surface of the water. In addition, there are three benches made of corrugated glass which function as seats for visitors who want to enjoy tea in the greenhouse.
Tokujin Yoshioka’s mission to remind people of the origins of Japanese culture does not stop at the Shore-in Shrine. Hence, he plans to show this teahouse throughout Japan, even introducing it to other locations around the world.
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A self-taught master of modern architecture, Tadao Ando is world-renowned for his minimalist style, often expressed in massive concrete forms that play with natural light to create surprising interior spaces. Examples include the 1989 Church of the Light in his native Osaka, Japan—which features an ethereal sanctuary illuminated by a cross-shaped light well cut through the concrete wall—as well as the 1990 Ito House in Tokyo, which is among his few residential commissions and was recently put up for sale by its owners.
Ito House by renowned Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando hides behind an anonymous, arcing concrete facade in the Setagaya neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan.
The nearly 5,500-square-foot structure includes three multi-floor units positioned between several courtyard gardens. The overall plan is also based on a series of overlapping arcs and rectangular spaces that create specific relationships with natural light.
An extensive case study in the February 1990 edition of Progressive Architecture, published as Ito House was being completed, described Ando’s work as reductivist but far from simple. “The geometry of [his] interior plans, typically involving rectangular systems cut through by curved or angled walls, can look rather arbitrary and abstract. What one finds in the actual buildings are spaces carefully adjusted to human occupancy,” the article notes. Ando’s prodigious use of solid concrete—demonstrated by Ito House—allows him to “seal his building[s] behind anonymous walls” and “open them to internal courts.”
An apartment on the middle floor of Ito House is embraced by the curved wall. Sunlight enters from the sides and above via narrow windows in the courtyard and along the roof.
The Progressive Architecture article continues, “All of his restraint seems aimed at focusing our attention on the relationships of his ample volumes, the play of light on his walls, and the processional sequences he develops.”
In another unit, the living area looks out onto another courtyard featuring a large cherry tree in the corner. The room’s exposed concrete walls also highlight several trademarks of Ando’s work, including visible bolt holes—intentionally left over from carefully placed wall molds—as well as the varnished concrete finish described by others as “smooth as silk.”
In a 1995 interview following his acceptance of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Ando himself acknowledged the provocative nature of his designs. “At times walls manifest a power that borders on the violent,” he said. “They have the power to divide space, transfigure place, and create new domains.”
In the case of Ito House, the solid exterior wall creates a private perimeter around the home’s expansive windows and shields several outdoor spaces from the busy corner. “Walls are the most basic elements of architecture, but they can also be the most enriching,” the architect noted.
The kitchen in one unit features stainless steel countertops and wide-plank hardwood floors.
The top-floor features a large bedroom overlooking the courtyard below and rooftop patio.
Ito House comprises three individual units—totaling six bedrooms and three full bathrooms—as well as a rentable commercial space on the ground floor. Most recently, the structure was home to a multigenerational family that slightly modified the original floor plan to allow for easier internal access between the units.
“An older couple lived here, along with the families of their two children,” says listing agent Tomohiro Harada. “The living area of each unit remains fully independent; however, there are now hidden doors and routes, so the grandchildren could more easily visit their grandparents. It’s a unique feature of the building in that the three families were easily connected while still maintaining privacy.”
Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for ¥750,000,000 Japanese Yen (approximately $7,085,000).
Finishes in each bathroom carry forward the exposed concrete and stainless steel found in other rooms of the apartments.
The building also comes with two rooftop patios.
Along the side of the structure, a large garage provides parking for the multiple residences.
A floor plan of the building shows the clever configuration of the three residences, each of which offers direct access to an outdoor area. Unit A occupies portions of the middle and top floors, while units B and C occupy sections of the middle and ground floors.