A couple approached us to build a house encompassing their experiences living in Japan for many years, combined with their passion for contemporary Australian architecture. Through our conversation with them we learned that they had an intimate understanding of the link between the quantity and quality of light and people’s physical and emotional health.

So light plays a pivotal role in the design, achieved through clean architectural detailing with seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces. The house connects to the surroundings through a window at each end of the walkway on both the East/West and North/South axis of the building, drawing the occupant to the outdoors when transitioning from one zone to another. With its full height 2700 doors and windows, moving across rooms becomes a simple yet beautiful and rich experience, changing through the seasons.

Combining the comfort of modern living, technology and traditional features, integral elements include a yoga room (purposely designed to capture the morning light and ground level views), Japanese hot tubs, timber screening, walkways, a rock garden and… a black toilet, which according to Junichiro Tanizaki in his essay In Praise of Shadows, promote “a state of mindfulness, central to life lived well.”


  • Material: Timber frame
  • Project size (sq.m.): 176
  • Price range AU$): 500K
  • Location: Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Year: 2019