Contemporary architecture in Japan pays homage to tradition but also offers a new twist on classic Japanese dwellings and interiors. On this page, you can admire some of the most creative examples of modern Japanese architecture, completed by renowned or recently established firms. Regardless of their function, these architectural projects give a nod to old Japanese living traditions, albeit in different ways. While varied in their design and purpose, these examples all showcase some of the core principles of Japanese design: efficiency, minimalism, precision, and a respect for nature.
Our selected examples of architecture in Japan range from compact urban houses to design studios built in the countryside; from imposing monolithic structure and brutalist-style dwellings to transparent volumes with glazed walls that bring nature deep inside the heart of the home. Here you can also read more about restoration projects that revive post-war dwellings and modernize them tastefully with elements that celebrate tradition. Highly efficient in their design, residential houses make the most of every inch of space, whether it’s a clever layout or an ingenious division of multifunctional programs.
Built in cities, fishing villages, or in the mountains, these houses highlight the best of residential architecture in Japan. Nature becomes a central part of the living spaces. In natural settings, windows and sliding doors open the homes and holiday or weekend retreats to spectacular landscapes. In dense urban environments, nature makes its way into homes via private gardens, patios with lush greenery, or an abundance of potted plants that enliven any space. Curated views maximize privacy and a connection to nature at the same time. The use of natural materials like cedar wood and bamboo also helps to create cozy interiors.