Sunny side up

WORDS Nadine Botha

This simple, Japanese designed house may be the ultimate pack-up-and-go holiday home. 

The beautifully minimalist Ism House by International Royal Architecture in Japan reduces a holiday home to a bold white arrow. In fact, from straight on, the brilliant white plane makes it look as if a house-shaped hole has been cut out from the surroundings.

In a way, it is cut out, as the house stands in the middle of a field of weeds without an ocean or mountain view. The larger area was supposed to be developed as a resort but the site boundary and road location are being contended, stalling development. In the meantime, the fishing-loving client sought an abode.

Built to provide simply the basic living necessities, the inward-facing structure is clad in waterproof fibreglass-reinforced polymer. Double barn doors on either side open a passage through the middle – not dissimilar to Gavin Rooke’s holiday home featured in VISI 62. The passage serves as a terrace and parking garage.

Glass sliding doors access the living spaces on either side of the passage. These spaces are also connected through an attic mezzanine intended as an open-plan sleeping area. Small, precisely positioned windows and skylights bounce natural light throughout the house.

Do you need much more when, let’s face it, you’re going to spend all day on the beach?