A minimal black iron loft adds a modern element to this Japanese town

At the foot of the rolling hills in Miyazaki, Japan sits a minimalist black house designed by Atelier Kento Eto for a family of four. This black house blends in with the scenic mountains and at the same time stands out in the neighborhood of Kadogawa.

The modern loft is wrapped in black corrugated iron and is a perfect square 8×8 meter cube that reveals little from the outside. The dark exterior is a contrast to the bright white interiors that open up to the light and nature with two large sliding doors. The client wanted to accommodate their desire to host their friends into the floor plan so the house has been built around a double-height entertaining area which is where the gatherings will happen. The ground floor features an open plan living, kitchen and dining area on one side and a bathroom, washroom, and storage area on the other side. Sliding wooden doors at either end of the central hall allows it to be opened up to the outside to make the space larger and airier.

“By connecting the central hall and each room through openings on the walls and the ceilings, the boundaries between the rooms are obscured and openness is maximized within the limited volume”, explains the team of architects. A minimal white staircase leads to the second floor where the residents have their sleeping area that can be accessed via metal bridges suspended across the central area below. Aside from the central sliding doors, just one window on to an upstairs bedroom marks the building’s exterior. “In addition to connecting the east and the west wings overhead, these thin bridges function as a device to stimulate one’s physicality and curiosity in an interior space,” the architects continue, “vertically connecting with the hall and offering views at different heights”.

It is unique in the most subtle ways and makes the most of the natural setting in terms of color, ventilation, light, and styling elements. The loft almost has a mystery box feeling where there is a purposeful surprise hidden in every little detail.

Designer: Atelier Kento Eto