JAPANESE ROUND HOUSE – I don’t know about you but the thought of buying and living in a ‘Round House’ seems just plain silly. For starters, where do you put your furniture, such as your sofa or dinning table? Take a look around most furniture stores and you’ll notice that the items are primarily designed for homes that have corners.
Traditional homes, whether old or new are predominately made up of right angles, so squares and rectangles and this is purposeful as architects are fully aware that furniture is, in the main, designed for these angles.
I recently came across a home that was built in Japan and designed by Ciel Rouge. Ciel Rouge is well respected as a cosmopolitan architect who likes to think creatively, outside the box and this term of thought is highly prevalent in this Japanese Round House.
When I first laid eyes on this home, I wasn’t quiet sure if it was at all appealing but as I took time to study it I began to appreciate and certainly like the sheer brilliance of the design. When it comes to architecture I feel you need to look at a structure several times and then let your imagination pull the building into components and this process, for me at least, develops a better understanding of the architect and the structured that is created.
If I’ve lost you, then let me explain… Let’s take the photograph above. When looking at the overall structure you might initially think ‘Weird looking commercial building’. Now lets break it down. The large oval opening beautifully frames the glass wall behind and softens its sharp contrasting lines. Moving forward, we see the smaller ovals that further soften the facade and provide shapes that reinforce the curves of the overall structure. I do think the architects here have been extremely clever in that the large oval is at the forefront of the building which really helps to lessen the impact of the glass and provides an almost cocoon like feeling, which makes you feel safe and secure. The building, after I broke it down in my mind really does have a calming effect.
Before I move on, you might be thinking, I’m totally wrong and in fact if Ceil Rouge ever reads this, he might disagree with my analysis of the building. However, while Ciel Rogue might interpret this building differently he will certainly understand that we all interpret things in a different way. So my advice here is to study the building and see how you interpret it – the chances are it will be a completely different perception than mine.
I love the use of all the natural soft shades of colors in the interior of this home, which allows the flooring to really stand out. Note in the photograph above that the furniture does fit extremely well but, it is highly unlikely that the furnishings hugging the wall line were purchased from a furniture store – I would suspect that these were built bespoke for the building. However, on that note, look carefully – note that the furniture along the wall is not attached along the wall line, so this would indicate that it would be possible to purchase furniture that could in fact fit the spaces.
A sunken interior courtyard provides the owners with a private piece of the great outdoors, enclosed in glass and overlooked by the home’s living areas. But looking out over Japan’s sparkling shoreline, the best views are to be had from the rooftop garden of the house, where lush plantings and gardens transform a roof into an area that can be fully enjoyed by its owners and certainly provides for a stunning entertainment area.
I have to say that I was surprised that the architects had not incorporated a traditional Japanese Garden, which I feel would have worked so well.
Ciel Rouge, with the design of this home certainly strayed well beyond the normal conventions of designing a home and this highly contemporary round home affords the owners to take full advantage of the views and natural light that floods throughout the structure.
I am sure there are many people who may have had the same first impression as me. However, I hope that you and I have take journey of enlightenment and inspiration. After really looking closely at this magnificent piece of architecture I can truly appreciate it’s simplicity and beauty and I have to say the Ciel Rouge has forever changed my perception of a ‘Round House’.
I really hope you enjoyed my ramblings and if you have any comments please leave these below. Please share this article with your friends – Thank you.