Monokuro House
Southern California

Monokuro House is a two story, pioneering residential project in an older suburban neighborhood of mostly traditional one story houses, located in Southern California. Built for a Japanese family with two young children, the clients were interested in an extremely simple modern house that would express the clear Dark/Light contrast found in traditional Japanese architecture.

The building form creates a distinct singular object with moments of subtraction: a hollow vessel with negative space carved out of the exterior “shell” revealing a completely white interior lining. This carefully shaped, smooth interior contributes directly to the day-lighting design and facilitates the flow of air as part of the passive ventilation system.

Monokuro House locates the public spaces on the ground level where they open up to intimate and private outdoor areas, providing unrestricted indoor/outdoor living in the gardens. Private spaces occupy the second level.

Simplicity of form is part of our ongoing investigation into a lower cost model for a passive solar home, where the thoughtful and highly specific layout, together with the use of readily available and locally sourced materials, contributes to reduction of waste as well as shorter construction times.

The use of corrugated cement fiber board as a singular exterior cladding material reinforces the elemental nature of the house and places it clearly as an object in the landscape.