Born in Japan, designed for the world

14 May 2019

At Sekisui House's Comprehensive Research and Development Institute in Kyoto, Japan, there is a specialised experience studio which analyses how people live in their homes, their movements and behavioural patterns. It looks at how homes can be designed to help develop the minds and bodies of children, the differing needs of the elderly, and people with permanent and temporary disabilities.

Sekisui House's Comprehensive Research and Development Institute in Kyoto, Japan

It’s this type of research that has informed the thinking behind every detail in our homes, from placement of handrails, door handles and light switches, through to considerations on heights for steps or minimum width of hallways. The insights we gain from our research studios are then communicated to the design team who work to embed functionality into an aesthetically thoughtful design. Takao Sawai from Sekisui House, says it’s not just about aesthetics, or just about functionality as the company views these both as imperative in the design process.
“It’s about combining safety, style and comfort; creating an environment that could sustain your family for life,” Mr Sawai explains.

Designed for flexibility

At The Orchards, in Sydney’s north west suburbs, Sekisui House is creating a new community with a focus on health and wellbeing. Luxury amenities for relaxation, entertainment and fitness have been thoughtfully designed into the masterplan with the future residents in mind.
A unique feature of the apartments is a flexi-room which gives residents options to adapt their living space depending on their changing needs. The folding door system allows the room to be opened up as an extension of the living space, or closed off to make way for another bedroom, nursery, study, or hobby room.

Flexi-rooms at The Orchards have been designed to be adaptable for varying needs at the present, and changing needs in the future.


A two-bedroom floorplan with flexi-room at The Orchards.

Project Director, Edward Natour says that these types of innovations and solutions have been inspired by home designs in Japan where people tend to remain in their homes for a longer time.
“While Sekisui House has fine-tuned the art of efficient floorplans in Japan, we’re able to take this knowledge and adapt it for our Australian customers,” adds Mr Natour. “Our masterplanning process is not just about the external environment and what amenities we can provide, it extends down to the finest detail in every home.”

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