Some noticeable tendencies found in contemporary Japanese houses:
1. very small
2. an interior with stark white walls or fair-faced concrete
3. using single letter in naming a project like “house h” or “k residence”

I don’t think 1 is ever going to change in Japan. The reason for that is obvious, no?

Then how about 2? I think white, gray and black have a fatal attraction for the Japanese, and achromatism is almost like a principal of the society. Think how Japanese businessmen are dressed. After all, this is a notoriously male chauvinist country, their taste dominates. And of course, not many Japanese would want to live in a space with walls in black or darker gray.

The Japanese love nothingness and happen to know how to contemplate on it. A Chinese character (or Kanji) usually means something, and it is nice to have a meaning for one’s name, but not for a house with a stark white interior. So, there is a reason for 3, apparently.

None the less, a small change is refreshing once in a while. How about a (small) splash of color in a monotone space? The image above is from ‘O house’, and the images below are ‘C House’ – both designed by architect Keiichi Irie in Tokyo.

all images: © 2004-2008 Power Unit Studio, all rights reserved.