- Yusuke Nakamae
Minimalist projects are often linked with the adjective simple or stripped down, and that would be a massive understatement for the Topological Folding House. The residence, located on the Hyōgo prefecture, in Japan, was designed by Takashi Yamaguchi & Associates; an irrefutable complex exercise in modern architecture. The entire structure of the building was created by folding a single plate—an unassuming starting point to what became a rich and intricate project to behold.
The residence overtly shows its cards as an intricate arrangement, as the building’s structure is meant to be the visual protagonist. The architects played with the sense of differing dimensions throughout, and each floor got the benefit of conveying a unique identity—from the sparse dining room to steep transitions to the bedrooms through narrow passages. Additionally, it’s important to note the careful work on the lighting design, as an eclectic assortment of windows were not so evenly distributed throughout the house. Thin rectangles sit alongside large doors and windows, carrying an interesting rhythm through light. It is an exercise of carefully applied gaps and volumes—a true sculptural triumph.
Takashi Yamaguchi explains:
Countless segments of light appear and randomly become fragmented. This non-homogenised light makes the flow and abstraction of space much more amplified.
The terrace, on the other hand, isn’t about intricacies; it is all about taking a breath. The grass patch serves as a welcoming section in opposition to the stimulating path the visitor had to take to arrive at the summit of the dwelling. A truly interesting finish to what could be considered a carefully designed narrative through architecture. It is difficult to cogitate another aesthetic more fitting than minimalism for such an undertaking.