This Hayama house reinvents Japanese seaside life

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This Hayama house offers a touch of Japanese seaside living

A new home in Hayama by Case-Real Architects offers a new way of living in the Japanese beach town

When escaping Tokyo’s urban sprawl becomes a priority, many Tokyoites turn to the seaside town of Hayama. Facing Sagami Bay and within a fairly easy drive from the big city, but at a much slower pace, it’s easy to see the attraction of this small seaside town. It’s also the setting for this new Hayama house, commissioned by a family who approached Japanese architecture studio Case-Real for the design.

While the client, a family of four, had been living in the area for some time, they jumped at the chance to purchase the land next to their current home in order to expand their footprint. Since most residential lots in Japan are modest in size, the norm is to build two or three stories to allow for the necessary area. However, after securing a second plot, the client could afford to ask Case-Real’s Koichi Futatsumata to design a one-story house to suit his needs – a move considered a luxury in Japan.

As the family likes to receive, the kitchen occupies a central place in the minimalist architecture of the layout of the house. All the other rooms in the house are planned around it, with easy access to it. As everything is literally under one gently sloping roof, there is a continuous flow throughout the house; from the more private bedrooms and bathrooms on the west side to the double-height living room and small en-suite guest bedroom on the east of the building.

The living room, which spans two floors via a mezzanine, adds a nice touch of vertical design to the otherwise single-storey plan. A single step leads to a comfortable carpeted seating area with a bespoke sofa. A simple steel staircase leads to a small library area above the living room.

Materials and colors are kept to a minimum throughout the home, adding to the cohesive and calm design. There are white painted walls and ceilings and white oiled oak floors. The gray Mortex kitchen counter is complemented by a feature wall of the same material behind the wood burning stove. Delicate Futatsumata wall sconces made by Japanese manufacturer Lighting Sou Inc provide soft ambient lighting throughout, leaving the ceiling almost completely bare (except for a large pendant above the dining table), adding to the serene and spacious feel of home.

The large sliding doors facing the kitchen open to extend the dining area onto the partly covered terrace which runs along the south side of the house – the perfect environment for lazy summer nights in the company of good friends. §

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