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Minimal Extension Adds Chic Usable Space To Japanese Home

Situated in suburban Japan, this addition to a family home designed by mA-style Architects is different from many such projects in that it doesn’t attempt to match the style of the home it extends from. Instead, the building’s exterior architecture and interior layout are both minimally, handsomely modern, intentionally contrasting the space inside a more traditional main house. The addition has an altogether lighter and airier design motif than its master home, which extends inside to the largely open space it contains. This separation is physical as well, with the addition being placed at the end of a covered outdoor walkway instead of simply on the other side of a wall.
All of this differentiation is a means to a very specific end, contrasting with the main home to make it perfectly clear that the addition is a different sort of space, meant for certain activities and a certain state of mind. The clarity and simplicity of design is meant to inspire clarity of thought, making the extension a suitable office or contemplation space. The soothing colors and clean materials of the open room aid in this, and the physical space between the extension and the home further enhances the mental state intended to be induced by a visit to the addition. It’s about more than just adding modern space to a home; the area has a purpose beyond square footage.

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While the extension has simple lines and lighter wood and paint colors, the house it stems from is more typical and ornate in style. The addition’s exterior is an eye-pleasing combination of four white room-height walls, with a pitched wooden roof that forms a triangular window on each end to let in natural light.

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A few ground-level windows in the sides of the structure supplement the natural light in the room, creating a bright, minimal space by day. At nighttime, the hanging bulbs inside the addition create a darker, more time-appropriate atmosphere.

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The walkway between the extension and the main home features access to the yard and glass panels for some parts of the wall, transitioning between environments with a view of the outdoors.

The enlargement is all one large, open room, with desks and shelves built into the sides and a large space in the center for any furniture to populate it with.

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The addition is actually more than just a single level, with access to a loft set in one of the large triangular windows’ shapes. However, all parts of the extension open into the same large room, so even the loft is a part of the same space.

The space, as large as it is, can easily be a personal workplace for somebody seeking respite from distractions within the main home. It could also be an oversized book nook for any reader desiring solitude and quiet.
The far end of the addition opens directly into the yard, allowing somebody to come and go without even needing to visit the main house. If the owners of the home wished to host a gathering, they could have it here without needing to prepare their main living quarters.

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The steeply-angled roof of the house combines with the large windows and white walls of the addition to make the room seem much larger than it is, adding three-dimensionality to the interior without actually expanding the floorplan.

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No usable space is left ignored in this design, with a set of floating stairs leading up here to a compact loft. This could very easily be a reading space or meditation area.

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