Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

A Playful Home Inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” Blends Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

A Playful Home Inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” Blends Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

CplusC Architectural Workshop renovates a Sydney residence to celebrate family togetherness and a connection with the natural world.

Nearly two decades ago, a young couple bought a four-bedroom home on a quiet street in Sydney’s Russell Lea suburb. As their family grew, with the addition of three young children and a dog, the duo decided it was time to transform the existing residence into their forever home. For the recent renovation and expansion, local firm CplusC Architectural Workshop took inspiration from the popular Japanese film My Neighbor Totoro.

"Three decades ago, Studio Ghibli’s animated fantasy My Neighbor Totoro taught us about the importance of relationships-with family, friends, and nature," says architect Clinton Cole, who led the project alongside architect Ryan Ng. "Similarly, the Totoro House concept is heavily inspired by the strong family bond between the clients and their relationship to the landscape."

The Sydney-based firm’s goal for the project was to create an open, warm, and sociable home environment. The communal areas needed to allow the family to interact during simple daily activities. The clients also wanted to achieve a stronger connection between the interior spaces and the rear garden.

With this in mind, the architects removed the boundaries between the kitchen, living, and dining areas, and the walls that previously separated the spaces were reimagined as vertical thresholds. A rear extension-which houses a spacious living area-opens to an outdoor deck.

The CplusC team designed the addition to ensure privacy for the family-and their adjacent neighbors, too. "With the extension mostly hidden from the street, glimpses of the playful space peek out from behind the Federation-era home," explains Ng.

Throughout the updated dwelling, a circular motif facilitates a strong visual connection between the different spaces. A large, round window overlooks the backyard, framing the transition between the structure’s interior and exterior. This approach draws on the traditional Japanese concept of shakkei, in which a background landscape-or "borrowed scenery"-is incorporated into the composition of a garden.

A round window in the principal bedroom also draws from shakkei, offering direct views from the sleeping area into the rear courtyard. Double-layer curtains allow the homeowners to maintain a sense of privacy. The glazed window includes a built-in window seat and a timber hatch that promotes air flow into the room.

"The predominant design consideration of Totoro House is the integration of shakkei," says Ng. "The circular motif is used to strengthen the connectivity between spaces. Every opening acts as a frame that captures different elements of the backyard."

Warm colors create a cozy atmosphere throughout the interior living spaces, while the material palette-spotted-gum hardwood, steel, recycled masonry, and concrete-draws inspiration from midcentury modernism.

The architects were also mindful about waste reduction during the construction process. A semi-circle off-cut in the exterior brass cladding was integrated into the rear wall as a design detail. Recycled bricks were used to build the extension, while stones from the existing home now appear in the backyard garden.

"The project continues to surprise us beyond what we envisioned," Cole says. "We often receive updates from the clients about new and unexpected light features, such as rare reflections and special silhouettes that result from a combination of natural phenomena and design."

A floor plan of Totoro House by CplusC Architectural Workshop.


Related Articles

Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'