Architects: UID Architects
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Size: 1,200 square feet
Set inside a black metallic box with an open square cut into the front, the aptly-named Frame house creates the illusion of a picture-perfect life.
The meditative stone garden—a signature feature in many UID projects—is planted with a single tree that extends out through the frame, creating a feeling of connectivity despite the hard lines of the square. A narrow garden path leads to a discrete white door, where the stonework continues inside the threshold.
Upon entering, guests are greeted by a gorgeous teak staircase, which leads to the main living space. To emphasize the airy interior, architect Keisuke Meida designed practical elements to (ahem) frame it. The kitchen and eat-in dining area line one wall, while a multi-purpose study with a wood unit that doubles as an entertainment center on one side and a desk on the other is situated opposite a cushy, brown couch.
To maximize limited square footage, storage is built into every compartment of the house. Hardware-free kitchen cabinets "disappear" into the white walls, creating a seamless, uncluttered effect. Modular shelving in the study displays a curated selection of books and art objects, and clear acrylic furnishings, like a pair of matching coffee tables in the living room, provide functionality without disrupting the clean lines of the house.
A bedroom, guestroom, and bathroom can be found on the ground floor, which remains light and sunny with floor-to-ceiling glass on the south-facing walls, which offer views of tree and stone garden.
• • •