Japan’s Most Extraordinary Homes

Japan’s Most Extraordinary Homes

Changing lives through structure, space and design


All photographs by Jeremy Segal

Takaharu Tezuka and Yui Tezuka

Tezuka Architects | Tezuka Biodiversity Museum

“Modern Japanese architecture is mostly technological yet with some flavors of Japanese culture. I am not sure if these are responding to the needs for the real sustainable life for the future. We have still a lot to learn about not only sustainable architecture, but also sustainable lifestyle from the wisdom of our ancestors.”

Hideki Ishii

Ishii Hideki Architect Atelier | Fukasawa House

“I think (modern Japanese architecture) is getting very diverse. Some seek for an advanced, technological approach of architecture, others have a more experimental design approach that could be called baroque, while others aim to be contemporary while preserving the traditions.”

Hiroyuki Suzuki

Atelier 137 | Chiba House and Karuizawa House

“Japanese spatiality and beauty of forms; the art of revealing soft light; working with the ambiguity between the inside and outside; minimalism — I find the modern architecture which applies these particularly Japanese elements very charming. On the other hand, there are structures built only with the financial baseline in mind, made without any consideration of Japanese qualities, which is unfortunate.”

Toshihiro Aso

Aso Toshihiro Design Office | Asaka House

“I recall a conversation I had with a mentor that I had great respect for when I was an undergraduate student. He said, ‘Architects face five types of responsibilities: client responsibility, legal responsibility, social responsibility, environmental responsibility and self-responsibility. You must be accountable for all of these responsibilities and must perform your work with these five kinds of responsibilities in mind.’

“What this self-responsibility mentioned last tells us is that architects should pose a question to themselves whether the design they have come up with is something that they could present to others with confidence and that they have fully committed themselves to. These ‘five responsibilities’ underpin my designs.”