nLDK architects reinterprets the japanese traditional engawa
nara-based studio nLDK has completed ‘engawa house’, adhering to the rational traditions of japanese design. as the plot owned an irregular slope, the design team decided to place the structure on a concrete platform, preventing landslides. this way, a strip flooring is formed, running in the full length of the facade — the so-called engawa. therefore, the final composition plays with different levels, while the access to the dwelling is carried out through a staircase that connects the sunken garden with the house.
all images by sasakura yohei
a platform with no instructions for use
the design team at nLDK architects (find more here) prioritized openness, in order to provide views towards the park. to achieve this, floor-to-ceiling openings penetrate the walls bringing the inhabitants closer to nature. by adding the concrete volume, they achieved to keep the house stable, as well as to create a cozy semi-outdoor space for interaction and gazing. and in fact, as the architects themselves said, it’s a space with no instructions for use,‘it has no function, so residents do nothing specific there, they just hang out’. simultaneously, lifting up the entire house provides a comfortable environment by controlling the rain and cutting off the sun rays in the summer.
when it comes to the interior, the studio opted for a muted color palette while wood dominates the entire space, creating an intimate warm atmosphere. the architects sought to create an open layout, avoiding walls and partitions. to separate the different functions of the common spaces, they employed different heights — a simplified spatial interpretation of traditional tatami floors.
a space for interaction
engawa is a porch-like wooden floor outside a japanese style room facing the garden on the ground floor