Okinawa House by John Pawson

Okinawa House is a minimalist residence located in Okinawa, Japan, designed by Taishi Kanemura of John Pawson. UK-born John Pawson spent a few years teaching English at the business university of Nagoya, and eventually moved to Tokyo and visited the influential studio of Japanese architect and designer Shiro Kuramata.


The project is a reflection of Pawson’s fundamental approach to minimalism, something he passionately explored through the creation of his book Minimum, first published in 1996, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture, and design across a variety of historical and cultural contexts. As a result, the architects used the fluidity of the catenary curve as a visual reference for the residence.

Due to the fact that the clients lived in a box-like house in Tokyo, they wanted a sense of vertical and horizontal expansiveness. According to the architect, “The design traces the diagonal footprint of the plot, combining single and double-height spaces within a form that is closed and tapered to the rear, but to the front flares and opens like an eye over the headland, with the ground floor level raised to optimize sightlines to the ocean.”






Photography by Nacasa & Partners.

Leo Lei translates his passion for minimalism into his daily-updated blog Leibal. In addition, you can find uniquely designed minimalist objects and furniture at the Leibal Store.