Arch11-Designed Boulder Residence Inspired by Japanese Monastery Receives National Recognition from The Wall Street Journal

Recently recognized in The Wall Street Journal, this Arch11-designed home – shown from the backyard – embraces the homeowner’s Japanese heritage through subtle details.

It was a fun challenge to honor Norie’s family heritage while creating a modern home fit to this active couple’s lifestyle.

The award-winning team at Denver and Boulder, Colorado-based architecture firm Arch11 was recently recognized by The Wall Street Journal for the design of a Colorado home that reflects elements of a Buddhist monastery in rural Japan.

Avid climbers and outdoor enthusiasts Norie Kizaki and David Wolf wanted Kizaki’s childhood memory of the monastery, where her father was a monk, to influence the design of their modest modernist house, according to the article, “A Home with a Hint of Monastery,” yet they also wanted it to fit into their neighborhood’s mix of 1950s-era ranch houses and Colonial bungalows.

Japanese elements on the exterior of the home are “visible, but subtle,” according to the article, including the cypress of the front door and part of the façade, darkened with a Japanese charred-wood technique called shou-sugi-ban. Traditional elements are more obvious indoors, where Arch11 principal E.J. Meade, familiar with many of the principles of Japanese design, created the main floor around a tatami room, surrounded by sliding shoji screen doors and furnished only with rice mats on the ground – a space the homeowners use for meditation, dining and TV watching.

“It was a fun challenge to honor Norie’s family heritage while creating a modern home fit to this active couple’s lifestyle as well as its typical American neighborhood,” says Meade. “A reverence for nature is actually something that the Japanese tend to share with Boulder residents,” he adds. “The small, carefully placed windows in the tatami room and bathroom reflect the Japanese sense of viewing nature through privileged views, versus the walls of windows you’re more likely to see in other Boulder houses.”

Other Japanese elements to the 1,800-square-foot home include a small front entry inspired by a traditional genkan where guests can slip off their street shoes and cozy into house slippers. And a cantilevered…

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