Japanese steel frame house gets minimalist facelift in Osaka

A steel frame house in Tamatsukuri, Osaka, gets a minimalist facelift by Reiichi Ikeda Design

light grey exterior of House in Tamatsukuri
(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

A Japanese steel frame house in Tamatsukuri, Osaka, has received a minimalist facelift, courtesy of Reiichi Ikeda Design. The single family Japanese house's redesign not only affords it a striking new façade – sharp and modern in light grey hues – but also revamps the space inside, transforming the interior design into an ode to simplicity and minimalist architecture

Located in a vibrant part of town, on a wide street, the existing structure had a number of advantages and disadvantages to it. Among the advantages was the ample natural light this plot gets, an element the architects made the most of by installing a large, double-glazed picture window that exploits the warm light from the north. Among the disadvantages was the building quality – the house did not have adequate insulation to ensure the residents get stable temperature inside, which led to excessive heating and sustainability issues. The team tackled this by adding insulation and blocking some poorly placed windows (whose role was replaced by the aforementioned new large opening). 

nighttime exterior shot of House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

Spanning some 130 sq m and three floors, the residence features the entrance hall, a bathroom and a study on the ground level; an open-plan living space with a terrace on the first floor; and two bedrooms and storage space on the second floor. A roof terrace tops the structure, offering long views of the Osaka cityscape and Japanese architecture

Materiality inside is orchestrated by a play of soft and hard surfaces. Concrete is balanced by timber joinery in natural wood colours and ethereal white semi-transparent curtains (by Fabricscape). Carefully chosen pieces of design-led furniture and artworks create moments of enjoyment and colour pops throughout the interior. This approach resonates with the signature style of the design practice of Reiichi Ikeda, which often balances clean lines and surfaces with playful details and a rich palette of textures. 

Soft colours compose an otherwise serene, minimalist interior – bringing a sense of calm in the bustling city centre of Osaka, and creating a safe haven for the residents. Meanwhile, the relatively low, geometric composition of this Japanese steel frame house feels contemporary but also at home in its residential street.

close up of grey cladding and street sign at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

interior with white walls and timber joinery at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

entrance joinery and stairs leading up inside House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

kitchen and dinning area with large windows at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

bright, white living space at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

wood clad minimalist interior at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

bedroom interior with clean white walls at House in Tamatsukuri

(Image credit: Yoshiro Masuda)

INFORMATION
reiichiikeda.com (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from