House for Installation is a renovated house in Osaka, transformed into a minimalist atelier and residence for artists. Simplicity, flexibility and elegant use of light define the living and working spaces; an abstract setting for calmness, meditation and creativity. A creation from architect Jun Murata / JAM, the house sits on the corner of a back alley. Renovated from a 1976 wooden house, the concept of working and living in the same space was retained; the existing building was divided in half, providing space for an office and a residence. The original building's façade was unattractive, and the composition of the residential quarters was careless. 

Murata's client was an artist who required a comfortable living space, which would inspire creation and would easily accommodate exhibitions of work. The client requested a renovation of the office's façade.  Bound by cost restrictions, Murata carefully considered how the spaces should connect and also remain separate. It was imperative that enough natural light was drawn into the interior, without installing new windows; a process largely achieved through Murata's understanding of the direction of natural light from outside.

All unnecessary walls were removed and the old structure was dismantled. Following that, an oblique wall was installed in the centre, with a corridor beside it giving an impression of depth. This narrowed the soft natural light from the south side, amplifying the intensity of internal light.

In the south facing part, Japanese-style rooms had previously used the space for a traditional alcove and Buddhist altar. During the renovation it was converted to one large room and is now used as living, dining and Japanese-style room. This space has a rectangular opening, used as the exhibition area. The newly created alcove and Japanese-style room are separated from the altar. A white rectangle with indirect light behind it emphasises the emptiness of the space.

Slits of varying widths in the ceiling were created to install indirect lighting, curtains and sliding doors. A vertical slit was made in the wall of the boundary with the Japanese room, to lead the natural light from the south into the linen room, which has no windows.

Opening doors eliminate noise insulation and airtightness, thus moderating airflow. Throughout day and night, air can pass through, drawing in natural sounds from daily life outside. This brings movement and expression into the white space, enriching it. Delicate details and simple materials were combined to promote expression of light.

Key Facts

Interior
Japan

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