Japanese practice Niizeki Studio was faced with a peculiar site challenge when designing the KHB residence in Kuhonbutsu, Japan.
Located within a quiet residential neighborhood, the building is sandwiched between two other structures within a narrow lot. In an effort to create a more significant impact on its exterior aesthetic, the architects designed the facade as two volumes with a concrete split down the middle.
A stark contrast of material was chosen for the project based on the site’s characteristics. Due to the constricting nature of the property, 6mm steel plate was used to cover the exterior of the volumes - a natural rust greatly contrasts the adjacent buildings and serves as a clear ‘gate’ into the house. The interior in turn is defined by layer after layer of hand-placed mulberry paper that creates a warmer and lighter feel. The residence then becomes an inhabitable illustration of the dichotomous condition between industrial versus artisanal, heavy and light, hard and soft.