Boke house / Outdoor living inside
Location: Chiba, Japan
Completion: Feasibility study
The BokeHouse is unlike any house you have seen before. Every aspect of its design challenges what it means to be a living space. Living spaces are designed as a screen, a boundary to provide shelter from the outside world. Impermeable walls of stone and steel fight against the natural elements and create a pocket inside which we hide. The BokeHouse instead, chooses to blur the lines between inside and outside, embrace the outside elements, and work in harmony with them to provide a living experience that is truly in tune with the surroundings.
The BokeHouse has a philosophy of duality, of symmetry between the interior and the exterior. This duality is represented by the two main built structures of its design - the interior structure and the outside frame. Instead of acting as a fortification from the outside, the frame is simply a membrane, a film that acts as the outline of the plan. Whilst shielding from weather, this membrane doesn’t limit the natural benefits that the outside can provide for us. Sunlight glides through the polycarbonate-cedar frame and cascades onto interior surfaces during the day. When night falls, the built environment sleeps in darkness. Distinct points of light escape through tiny holes in their concrete cells, seeping out from windows and doors, nooks and crannys. But for the BokeHouse, night is when it reimburses light to the outside by acting as a beacon. With no discernable walls, light from within is free to move from the inside to the outside, and the whole structure is illuminated like a lantern in the night. Instead of a uniform square of light bursting forth through a bedroom window, when lights turn on each room emits a soft glow, like an indication of its occupant’s presence. When more lights are turned on these auras blur together, creating a nebulous radiance that hovers in the night.
Not only does the BokeHouse celebrate the formlessness of light, it also questions what it means to be ‘outside’. Ordinarily, there is a distinct separation between inside and outside - there is no question. The pair are divided by a concrete wall, inches thick. The BokeHouse is composed of two main structures, and the space between is... up to your own interpretation. This zone gives you the freedom to live and play outside whilst remaining within the boundaries of your home, protected from the harsher elements, but benefitting from the best of them. You can feel the movements of the outside world, see their outlines through the translucent polycarbonate, watch the sunlight move across the floor.
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