House in Ise by Takashi Yamaguchi

House in Ise, by Japanese architect Takashi Yamaguchi, is a space that transcends the sanctity of minimalist living. This home defines the quintessential relationship between a house and its surroundings. The first floor utilizes horizontal and vertical voids that open up to a view of the Miyagawa River. The first floor contains the living, dining, and kitchen area while the second floor engenders the family space and bedroom.

The interior is sharp, crisp, and light. However, most Japanese architects, when interviewed, admit to the fact that the views and surroundings of a home contribute most to their inspiration and creativity of the architecture. With that being said, the House of Ise is the brainchild of the beautiful surroundings that enclose it. There is also a rooftop terrace and light court “that are open to Miyagawa area’s natural scenery and afford excellent vantage points for the summer fireworks festival.”

Although white may be ubiquitously used throughout minimalist design to promote a sense of cleanliness and ambiance, I am always a fan of stark white exteriors and interiors. In this particular house, white was used throughout the entire building — even the stairs and exterior facade are plastered with white. In my opinion, this lack of color exposes the essence of the object, the purity of the design, and the integrity of its beauty. It strikes me at a much deeper level than “this is simple and minimal.”

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.