Tatami House _ 2011

Rhythm & Proportion

Springfield, MO _ 5,200 sqft
Architecture, Interior Design, Fabrication
Photo Credit _ Mike Sinclair

The Tatami House sits on a hilltop site in Springfield, Missouri, beneath a thick canopy of trees and the vast Missouri sky. When we designed the residence, we turned to traditional Japanese architecture for inspiration. We sought to create a strong relationship between the interior and exterior environment through spatial layout and the use of natural materials. We looked at traditional methods of construction and detailing and applied them in ways that fit with modern building technology.

The clients, a young entrepreneur, his wife, and their family, were passionate about sustainability, and so we employed innovative irrigation methods, passive solar design and reclaimed materials in the home’s construction. Sinker cypress siding, cement board, and board-formed concrete clad the exterior. Their colors complement the standing seam weathering steel roof.

Like the mat that is its namesake, the Tatami House is a study in rhythm and proportion. The 2:1 ratio of the tatami mat was the genesis of the floor plan, and a number of rooms are laid out by actual tatami dimensions. The house is composed of two equal wings and an attached garage. The two wings, one public and one private, are connected by a glass bridge.

Outside the house, the man-made landscape lightly touches the natural surroundings. Here bamboo, sedum, flowers and small conifers are separated from the lush forest. The Tatami House is defined by the convergence of ancient and modern, the meeting of natural and man-made.