The Melt House is a minimalist home that epitomizes “green” living. Nestled on a narrow site just 18 feet wide at the edge of a mountain in a residential area of Osaka, the house boasts a dry garden that helps the family commune with nature, in a way.
Designer Satoshi Saito of architectural design firm SAI created this home for a young family who wanted a place to “feel green.” He wanted them to have a home that didn’t just feel green because they could see greenery from anywhere. But a house where the family can actively use the outdoor space and grow with nature.
“Napping under a tree, touching a leaf, planting a tree or flowers, spending time directly feeling the wind and smelling greenery are less common now in urban societies. I thought I could create an original experience of this rich life that is being forgotten, Satoshi said of Melt House.
Thus, the centerpiece is a dry garden in the middle of the house that serves as a multifunctional space. Its double-height space almost resembles a courtyard that connects the home’s dining room and living room. Meanwhile, generous lighting and ventilation flow in through clerestory windows and sliding doors connecting the interior to the exterior.
Additionally, the Melt House has two adjoining wings. One includes a traditional Japanese bedroom, living room and a loft on the second floor. Meanwhile, the other wing houses the bedrooms, an open kitchen and a dining room. The predominant use of wood in this house, from the floor, the panels on the windows, the furniture, the shelves, etc., gives warmth and a feeling of openness and harmony with nature.
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Images courtesy of Norihito Yamauchi Photography