mA-style Architects
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No windows needed for this light-filled Japanese home

Some like their architecture completely open, and some like it closed. Japanese firm mA-style Architects seems to prefer the latter. First, it was the windowless Green Edge House that caught our attention. Now, it’s the cubic Light Walls House in Toyokawa, Japan.

Since the initial plot of land was not blessed with ample sunshine, the architects concentrated on ways to channel and direct the available daylight in order to create uniform distribution of light throughout the house. To do so, sky lights were placed around the edges of the roof to let in the light. The roof beams narrow the light and the laminated wood of the angled interior walls catches and reflects the light, spreading it throughout the dwelling.

In order for the light to easily diffuse, the architects kept the space open and developed private space within four boxes arranged throughout the home. The bedroom, bathroom and storage thus become interior havens of privacy in an otherwise communal space. In fact, the home seems to mimic the exterior urban surroundings with its own small buildings scattered throughout a greater public space.

Turning the empty spaces between the boxes into plazas where residents can interact also connects the closed house to the exterior, forging a courtyard of light that actually has very little connection to the exterior. In the end, the design is an intriguing imitation of ingrained societal structures, and our need to feel connected to something larger that we can shut out when desired.


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