Okinawa House

After more than thirty years creating outstanding projects, John Pawson continues on his path with plenty of innovation and a strong influence of old-school modernism infused in his architecture. His latest project is no different. Standing proudly at the cliff-top of the island is the fittingly named Okinawa House, a fascinating 414sqm retreat designed for summer and winter holidays.

This family home brings some vintage Pawson, when it does not shy away from the exercise of shameless reduction to its bare minimal. Visually, the façade is as geometric and straightforward as can be; three white boxes with varying sizes and dimensions salutes the spectators. To achieve such lightness is an accomplishment in itself, especially when the same aesthetics found outside is effortlessly translated to the inside as well.

The interior design embraces sparseness as a daily element, as all rooms unambiguously hold the essential. The open spaces are encouraged by a great interchange of double heights and scales, and thus optimising each room for various uses. There are few materials and textures applied throughout, but those present are very expressive; especially the kitchen area and the bathroom. The attention to detail is outstanding and would be missed in this case.

To master simplicity is no small feat, particularly when the residence in question managed to mix the almighty Japanese simplicity with the century old modernist heritage from the West. A difficult task made to look easy.