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Omizubata N House by Iida Archiship Studio

Innovative Japanese architecture firm Iida Archiship Studio has built a strong reputation with modernist structures that are thoughtfully responsive to their surroundings. This example, the Omizubata N House, set within the forested town of Kauizawa, is a weekend retreat that, like Iida’s other work, gracefully balances elegance and minimalism, while taking its immediate environment into serious consideration.

Omizubata N HouseStacked concrete columns support an exaggerated, dissymmetrical roof that extends to create a wraparound veranda and significant outdoor space at the structure’s front. The house’s open-to-nature design is obvious, while still maintaining a good sense of order and just enough transparency.

Omizubata N House

Omizubata N HouseInside, the gabled-roof design allows for a double-height ceiling, as well as a lofted study.

Omizubata N HouseWood-clad finishing both references and communicates with the forested environment.

Omizubata N House

More at: Iida Archiship Studio
Photos: Iida Archiship Studio

Design Classic: Coffee Syphon by Hario

The Japanese company Hario, known as the King of Glass, and founded in 1921, makes one of the most striking, practical devices you can have in your kitchen. The Coffee Syphon, a double-chambered coffee maker, whereby vapor pressure and vacuum are responsible for the process, produces a smooth, clean brew, allowing you to taste the nuanced flavor profile of your favorite coffees. The build, lending itself to temperature precision, efficiency, and stability, allows for the retention of flavors often lost or bittered by incorrect temperature or timing.

Long prized by connoisseurs, the vacuum-style coffee brewer was first introduced in the 1830s, by Loeff Berlin. The Japanese, with their dedication to highest-caliber coffee making (a country that imports more than 930 million pounds of coffee each year) have mastered the workmanship and quality that set the standard for this type of device.

It may require a little work to master the technique, but the theatrical experience of liquid defying gravity, in a device that looks like it belongs in a laboratory, and the beautifully crisp brew results are the payoff.

Starting at around $100, link to purchase at Hario

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