Minimalist masters Muji are offering up the chance for a two-year stay in their new, fully-furnished "Window House" for free. Located in Kamakura, roughly 31 miles south of Tokyo, the house—in keeping with its name—features windows on all four sides. In the living room, large windows facilitate expansive views onto the garden. A skylight allows further light in from above. With its typical minimalist white interior and open floor plan, this light is reflected throughout the space. Small eaves attached to the top of these windows reduce solar gain in the summer, stopping excess heating. The Window House is the largest from Muji so far. Last year they unveiled the Vertical House as well as an assortment of much smaller residences. Applicants who want a free stay in the house don't have to be Japanese, though will have to be able to read and speak it. This due to the fact that Muji is eager to collect feedback on the house and the experiences of its long-term inhabitants. During this process, the residents will report back regularly to Muji's designers and research team. As an added bonus, once the two-year stint is over the former residents will receive Muji furniture for life. Applications are currently open and close at the end of the month. You can sign up here.
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Japanese retailer MUJI teamed up with well-known designers Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic to create Muji Hut, a collection of three prefab homes. The minimalistic-inspired homes made their debut during Tokyo Design Week, which took place October 24 to November 3. Muji Hut consists of three cozy, lightweight, and innovative huts: Jasper Morrison’s Hut of Cork, Konstantin Grcic’s Hut of Aluminum, and Naoto Fukasawa’s Hut of Wood. All three huts include a combination of both traditional Japanese elements and modern design aspects. Hut of Cork has designated areas for cooking, eating, resting, and bathing. The hut embraces the great outdoors by including just a shower for bathing, hinting that residents make use of the communal bathhouse or hot spring located nearby. The hut’s exterior is clad of sound-absorbing cork panels, and the interior consists of an array of tatami mats. Hut of Aluminum is comprised of an all-wood interior, which is accessible by sliding shoji-style doors. The hut features retractable aluminum awnings as well as a loft that houses a small sleeping area. Hut of Wood resembles a traditional log cabin and includes timber wood, a pitched roof, a dining table and chairs, a kitchenette, scenic views, natural light, and floor-to-ceiling glazed sliding doors. The hut is also outfitted with a traditional Japanese bath, cot, and wood-burning stove. MUJI has yet to announce if the collection will be brought to market.