This House with Plants in Japan by KamakuraStudio Is Not What You’d Expect.
Indoor plants have loads of health benefits. As well as looking pretty nice, they’ll reduce carbon dioxide levels, diminish levels of pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and benzene (from bad things like car exhaust and cigarettes), and even keep air temperatures down on warmer days. The owner of this home in Katsushika in Tokyo is clearly well aware of this information—or simply enjoys the aesthetic and the company of lush and leafy green friends. Designed by Tokyo-based KamakuraStudio, the home is referred to as ‘House H’—and is almost like a greenhouse, beckoning sunlight and warmth inward to improve quality of life.
The original structure of the house meant rooms were dark and dank—natural light was mostly blocked out by surrounding buildings. Potted plants were inevitably in shadowy spots, missing that all-important life-giving light to chemical energy process.
KamakuraStudio’s solution to the gloomy issue was to maximise opportunities for light and increase the volume of plants albeit in a somewhat illusory way. Firstly, they created a new garden on a second mezzanine floor of the north side of the home—the sunniest spot and one not clouded over by neighbouring walls. Perfect for a kaleidoscope of ferns.
Then, they tilted the ceiling upwards toward the sun and finished the surface with a white reflective material. As well as looking a little like a pitched greenhouse roof, potted plants spread across the mezzanine are mirrored downward to the first floor—replicating itself, and making the house feel especially leafy. Timber floors maintain the organic, natural look and feel of the home, while bright white walls enhance sunlight all the more.