Mixing work with personal life is rarely a success unless you’re actually serious about it and you plan the whole thing in a clear and detailed manner. For a photographer from Japan that worked out pretty great but it took a lot of planning. In 2017 FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects completed a structure meant to serve both as a residence and as a workspace and gallery.
The house is situated along the street, lining up with the other neighboring propertiesThe street-facing facade doesn’t have any windows or openings
The house is situated along a countryside road, lined up with the neighboring properties. The lot on which is was built is small and L-shaped and thus the design of the house responded to this through a solid street-facing facade made of concrete and galvanized steel sheets. It ensures maximum privacy and it limits the exposure to some key areas.
The sections oriented toward the garden or the rear of the site are more open to the viewsThe L-shaped form of the lot played a partial role in determining the orientation and structure of the building
The layout is simple but not as linear as the exterior design of the house suggests. This is in part because of the hybrid nature of the house which serves both as a residence and as a photography studio and gallery. These two functions are not separated but instead juxtaposed and seamlessly blended with each other.
The interior is simple and almost austere, featuring polished concrete floors and bare wallsSome of the walls were painted white while others were left exposed and unfinishedThe bare concrete surfaces are balanced out by warm wood tones and harmony is thus established
Instead of dividing the spaces by function, the architects and the client agreed on a more casual organization which puts the work spaces and the living areas together. There’s no clear spatial distinction between them and this is a representation of the client’s lifestyle and approach to everyday tasks.
The internal structure is not as linear and as simple as expected, being quite dynamicThere’s a constant juxtaposition of spaces and functions and a rather abrupt connection to the outdoors
A blend of concrete and wood defines almost every room of the house. The spaces are thus simple but also welcoming. They’re furnished with vintage accent pieces and decorated with framed pictures taken by the client. Some of the spaces are intentionally kept more austere in order to emphasize certain details.
There’s no clear distinction between the work spaces and the living areas as they all look similarThe client’s framed work is displayed on the walls, adding character to every area of the houseThe floor plan is defined by different floor heights throughout the house
The entrance hall is large and has a skylight in the ceiling that lets natural light in. The floor is in polished concrete and the walls are white and the decor is intentionally kept this simple so the focus can be on the artwork displayed here.
A large hallway doubles as a gallery space, showcasing the client’s framed photographsThe hallway is intentionally left simple and neutral so the focus can be on the artworkThe best way to display art