The Inhabitable Japanese Paper Lantern – House in Hanazono by Kihon Form
Contemporary house designs, such as the House in Hanazono by Kihon Form, are often jarring and amazing in their sheer simplicity. The project at hand is informed by a typically Japanese architectural sensibility which has created a home with simple, yet unusual lines for their curvaceousness. Different materials and textures, such as glazing, sheer plastic and hardwood floors have been combined to produce a residential structure with a complex design. The project is a remodel of a 25-year old home in Osaka which was altered to suit the needs of a family of seven. To this end, the designers had the curvilinear partitions put in, therefore delineating freely-forming programs that allow one space to pour into the next or, conversely, to be separated from the rest of the floor plan according to the inhabitants’ needs.
This particularly contemporary house design was met with lots of constraints in the beginning of the project, as it is located in a densely populated urban area, with a classic, monotonous rectangular grid. The designers completely took out the old rectangular walls and replaced them with the partitions that make the home attain an organic, free flowing feel. The aim, which we believe was fully achieved, was to make the most of a rather small space, to accommodate the entire family, all the while not compromising on the open feel of the interiors. The armatures of the curving walls are wrapped in translucent laminated Japanese paper, allowing light and movement to softly translate to the other side. While a level of privacy is established, the inhabitants remain connected throughout the house. At night, the use of artificial light provides a ‘Japanese lantern effect’ to the walls.