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  • Writer's pictureArcht. Ilmi Dissanayake

Need a Simple House Design Idea for Your Dream House?

If you are looking to build a house, by the end of this article you will get inspired from this simple house design and find new ideas for your dream house.

In our designs you will find qualities such as celebrating the empty space, appreciating the imperfections in nature (wabi-sabi), and mostly the subtle and minimalistic approach to design.

The Zen House

The Zen House is located in Piliyandala, Colombo, Sri Lanka and it is currently under construction.

When designing this house, the biggest challenge we faced was the odd shape of the land. It looked like a triangle with a curved edge and had only 11 perches.

It’s also located near a junction, so the site meets the road on two adjacent sides. When keeping the reservation, we had to keep road reservation from two sides and rear space from another side.

That restricted the area that we can build to one end of the site and one wall being slanted due to the shape of the site.

However, we made that into our advantage and used it to create a big garden and connect the house with the garden view.

When you step in through the main door, you are entering the living space overlooking a Zen garden.

When you sit down in the living area, the space extends further by connecting you with nature.

From one side, you can see the indoor Zen garden and to the other size, you can see the outdoor garden.

We have used an off-white titanium finish for the floor and light gray colour pebbles for the Zen garden. We wanted to blur the line that separates these two spaces and by doing so, you wouldn’t know if you’re actually sitting in the garden or in an interior space.

The other side of the living has full height door windows opening to the exterior garden, again connecting you with nature. We have used a very rustic rubble wall for the Zen garden to give a more natural feeling.

The living space is visually connected with many other spaces. You can see the staircase, and the breakfast counter. This space is also double height, so that you can see the family living space upstairs from the ground floor as well.

To the left of the breakfast counter, you can enter the dining space, which opens to a verandah and to the garden outside. You can enter the kitchen from behind the breakfast counter. Apart from that there’s a small office and a bedroom and a common bathroom on the ground floor.

The staircase also opens to the Zen garden and you can see it in a different view while walking up. Then you’ll be entering the family living space on the first floor. This space connects you with two other bedrooms with attached bathrooms, one being the master bedroom.

Then to the other side there’s an office space where you can reach by walking along a small bridge. When you walk along the bridge, you can see the living room on one side and the Zen garden on the other side once again. The office space also opens up to a terrace area.

The staircase repeats once more leading you to a terrace area at the second-floor level.

If you would like to watch a walkthrough video of The Zen House, click on the video below!


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