• yocharchitecture

Genkan : What is it?


gen kan 玄関

noun


  • (history) Used with reference to the entrance of a Zen temple. The word is represented with two ideograms, directly translated to mean “the gateway to profound knowledge” - reflecting the arduous journey of Zen training upon entry into the temple.


  • (architecture) An entryway area directly beyond the main door where one would remove and leave their shoes before advancing into the home proper.

Origin: Japan




 

What is it?


A genkan is an introduction to the home.


It is usually designed to be at the same level as the outside (whether that be the porch of a house; or the corridor of an apartment).. but, within a main door.


It is an antechamber that is not ‘outside’.. but also not quite ‘inside’.


It hovers within the spectrum of the in-between.


The genkan is where you would part ways with things of the ‘outside’ (think: shoes, umbrellas, hats or coats) and step up into the rest of the house - the ‘inside’.


The presence and significance of the genkan is as much psychological as it is physical.


It is a transitional space.

It forms the delineation of where we begin our retreat from the outside world into the safety and comfort of our homes.



 

Why you would want one..


A genkan is a practical space to have no matter the type of residence you live in.


A house or an apartment will benefit from the split level of the genkan which act as a barrier that keeps outside dirt and dust away from your interior.


All while keeping shoes and belongings safe within a secured area.


On a social level, the genkan creates an intermediate space where you can welcome someone into your home while keeping the option of maintaining certain boundaries; or (if you so chose) allowing them to progress further into the more private sections of your home.



 

Lookbook



Minimalist

Smooth House by Studio Citta

https://studio-citta.com/fullorder/worklist/smooth-house/


Works027 by RIPARO

https://www.riparo.jp/works027



Framing

学(まなぶ)Gaku (Manabu) by Tanaka Komuten



Pragmatic + Practical

Hyogo Kobe City Model House by D’s Style

https://www.d-s-style.com/modelhouse/kobe/



Fun + Quirky

Concord Californian Bungalow by Bone Made

https://www.bonemade.com.au/concord-californian-bungalow



Modern Interpretation

Amélie, l’Atelier by Batiik Studio


 

The style of genkan can be adopted to suit individual preferences and varying home concepts.


~


Have fun with it and make it your own!