When one talks about Japan, one must mention its vast array of beautiful architecture. However, with the bar set so high, how can projects differ from one another without being normative?
APOLLO Architects & Associates, an international design firm based in Tokyo, has the answer with Grigio House. Instead of making the façade stand out or moulding a complex form, head architect Satoshi Kurosaki simply created a minimal concrete cube to focus on the interior — where the quality of life is essential. The outer monolithic appearance gives a sense of security while protecting a gorgeous private courtyard that also acts as a light well. The concrete’s colour flows inside to reflect the ambient tiled floor and ceiling, highlighted with moments of large openings. Sources of diffused light swallows the entire house, producing a completely different space from inside and outside. That separation perhaps serves as an indication for transformation that while the exterior cannot accomplish, the simple yet complex interior can definitely achieve.
I absolutely love this project for its bravery in embracing darkness within a living unit. Minimal and effective, APOLLO proves that it is acceptable for the shell to be similar, as long as the inner qualities are unique and enhanced.
Photography by Masao Nishikawa.