Japanese architecture both vintage and modern are renowned the world over for its clever optimization of space. Although there are some exceptions, most homes in the country have limited volumes due to government legislation and the price of real estate can also be expensive depending on the location. However, the right team can pull off remarkable results like the Nightingale House.

Credit for this striking interpretation of a modern home with a traditional motif goes to Atsushi Kawanishi Architects. Its conceptualization stage and the blueprints that followed took the studio a little over a year. Construction of the Nightingale House started in 2019 and completion followed the year after.

Located in Hyogo prefecture, it’s also called “Uguisu No Ie” (鶯の家) in Japanese. The structure spans 954 square feet with 1,400 square feet total across its interiors and exteriors. It manages to stand out among the other residences courtesy of the wooden-clad façade and roofing style.

From the street, a path lined with aggregates with some plants leads to the main entrance of the Nightingale House. The open sections between the L-shaped plan and the two-story building hold gardens. Pebbles and stone slabs provide stable footing when you need to step out for some fresh air.

Timber is the material of choice inside and evokes an inviting and cozy atmosphere. Floors, stairs, and walls exude an earthy tone and benefit from natural lighting during the day courtesy of the sliding glass doors and full-height glazing. The Nightingale House offers views of central Osaka and its airport from afar.

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Images courtesy of Katsumasa Tanaka/Atsushi Kawanishi Architects