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@zaxarovcom
May 27, 2024

In the remote east of Hokkaido, Japan, Jun Igarashi Architects has conceived the House of Trough, a minimalist retreat that elegantly merges the principles of seclusion and connectivity.

Designed for a couple seeking refuge from external disturbances, this architectural marvel employs spatial ingenuity to create a dwelling that is both introspective and outwardly engaging.

The House of Trough’s defining characteristic is its square plan, which artfully sandwiches the central living, dining, and kitchen areas between two distinct functional zones. To the north, a service and storage volume provides practical utility, while to the south, a combination of bedrooms and additional storage spaces ensures restful privacy. This layout generates a core living space that is intentionally shielded from external views, yet remains vertically expansive, fostering an airy and open ambiance.

Jun Igarashi’s vision draws a parallel to the traditional Japanese engawa—verandas that symbolically and physically bridge interior and exterior realms. This concept is manifested through the house’s buffer zones, which not only protect the inhabitants from the surrounding environment but also facilitate a meditative interaction with light and shadow. The interplay of light is orchestrated by strategic openings that animate the interior spaces with a dynamic display, while carefully avoiding unwanted views.

The mezzanines, accessed by ladders and stairs, further enrich this dialogue between light, space, and privacy. These elevated platforms serve as lookout points, offering varying perspectives of the house and its surroundings. The south zone, comprising an entrance, staircase, master bedroom, and guest bedroom, is partially sunken, adding layers of depth and intimacy to the spatial experience. Conversely, the north zone accommodates functional areas such as a laundry room, storage spaces, and a study, maintaining a balance between utility and comfort.

Emphasizing simplicity and cost-effectiveness, Igarashi’s choice of materials is both pragmatic and aesthetic. The use of inexpensive painted plywood for furniture and translucent white organdy curtains creates a harmonious, light-filled environment. These curtains, which can be drawn to enclose the main living spaces or left open to integrate peripheral areas, offer flexible transitions between privacy and communal interaction. They frame views of the central courtyard, or "trough," allowing family members and guests to observe the dynamic interactions within the heart of the home.

In House of Trough, Jun Igarashi Architects have crafted a dwelling that transcends conventional boundaries. It is a place where architecture becomes a medium for contemplation, a sanctuary that balances the need for solitude with the desire for connection.

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@zaxarovcom
May 27, 2024

In the remote east of Hokkaido, Japan, Jun Igarashi Architects has conceived the House of Trough, a minimalist retreat that elegantly merges the principles of seclusion and connectivity.

Designed for a couple seeking refuge from external disturbances, this architectural marvel employs spatial ingenuity to create a dwelling that is both introspective and outwardly engaging.

The House of Trough’s defining characteristic is its square plan, which artfully sandwiches the central living, dining, and kitchen areas between two distinct functional zones. To the north, a service and storage volume provides practical utility, while to the south, a combination of bedrooms and additional storage spaces ensures restful privacy. This layout generates a core living space that is intentionally shielded from external views, yet remains vertically expansive, fostering an airy and open ambiance.

Jun Igarashi’s vision draws a parallel to the traditional Japanese engawa—verandas that symbolically and physically bridge interior and exterior realms. This concept is manifested through the house’s buffer zones, which not only protect the inhabitants from the surrounding environment but also facilitate a meditative interaction with light and shadow. The interplay of light is orchestrated by strategic openings that animate the interior spaces with a dynamic display, while carefully avoiding unwanted views.

The mezzanines, accessed by ladders and stairs, further enrich this dialogue between light, space, and privacy. These elevated platforms serve as lookout points, offering varying perspectives of the house and its surroundings. The south zone, comprising an entrance, staircase, master bedroom, and guest bedroom, is partially sunken, adding layers of depth and intimacy to the spatial experience. Conversely, the north zone accommodates functional areas such as a laundry room, storage spaces, and a study, maintaining a balance between utility and comfort.

Emphasizing simplicity and cost-effectiveness, Igarashi’s choice of materials is both pragmatic and aesthetic. The use of inexpensive painted plywood for furniture and translucent white organdy curtains creates a harmonious, light-filled environment. These curtains, which can be drawn to enclose the main living spaces or left open to integrate peripheral areas, offer flexible transitions between privacy and communal interaction. They frame views of the central courtyard, or "trough," allowing family members and guests to observe the dynamic interactions within the heart of the home.

In House of Trough, Jun Igarashi Architects have crafted a dwelling that transcends conventional boundaries. It is a place where architecture becomes a medium for contemplation, a sanctuary that balances the need for solitude with the desire for connection.

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