- Okinawa, Japan
- Studio Cochi Architects
- Ooki Jingu
Studio Cochi Architects designed the House in Nakagusuku in a fresh residential area on Okinawa's main island. Unlike typical housing areas, this one boasts open fields and vacant lots, creating a bright and airy environment. The project takes inspiration from traditional Okinawan homes that blend seamlessly with their surroundings.
In Okinawa, homes were historically built with a deep connection to nature. The houses and their surroundings were seen as one, with fences and plants serving as extensions of the building. These elements provided privacy, protected against natural forces like typhoons, and bridged the gap between private and public spaces. Gardens played a crucial role, creating a comfortable living area where wind and light played a significant part.
The House in Nakagusuku reimagines this traditional concept, integrating nature in various ways. The minimalist building occupies an almost square plot, with the primary living space split into two sections: a south-facing living room and a north-oriented private room group. Gardens surround the building on the south, centre, east, and west. The southern and western gardens act as a buffer between the house and the city, while the eastern garden offers a private space, keeping a comfortable distance from the neighbouring house.
Studio Cochi Architects cleverly connects the scattered gardens, creating a pathway for light and wind throughout the house. Recognising the residential nature of the area, they also introduced semi-external spaces, blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors.