Forbidding Concrete Exterior Hides ‘Tranquil House’

With our cities now so laughably unaffordable, thousands of British Columbians are stuck imagining wonderful homes instead of living in them. Spaced is a record of our minds wandering the world of architecture and design, up and away from the unrewarding realities of shoebox condos, dark basement suites, sweet f~ck all on Craigslist and three levels of government that couldn’t give a damn.

(via) Would you live next to a highway? I suppose that’s a silly question in our part of the world, where we count ourselves lucky to find a place to live anywhere, but still…living right next to the roar of a high-speed, multi-lane, peace-and-quiet-killing highway hardly sounds cozy.

But what if it was designed by Japanese architecture firm FORM / Kouichi Kimura? That’d be OK. Witness their ‘Tranquil House’ in Shiga, Japan. It was built right next to a highway, fittingly adjacent to a concrete factory. With its few windows and drab, high-walled exterior, it looks more like a reinforced concrete fortress or a place where cute animals go in but never come out.

The interior, however, is a completely different story that starts right from the impossibly high and narrow front door. Modern and minimalist, Tranquil House features interconnected living and dining spaces with floors that bleed into ledges that become steps and ceiling heights that vary from zone to zone.

Natural light enters through a series of skylights, while the same windows that make it look forbidding from the outside not only provide extra sunshine but also artfully angle sight-lines away from the factory next door and the highway, preserving an interior feel that…well…is easy to imagine as being singularly special.

All images © Norihito Yamauchi and Yoshihiro Asada

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