By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo

This monochromatic home in Southern California stands out for so many reasons.

Clad in corrugated cement fiberboard with sleek black exteriors, the Monokuro House cuts a striking figure. Set in a suburban neighborhood in Torrence, California, surrounded traditional single-story residences, the home stands out due to its distinctive facade and its minimalist design.

Los Angeles–based W3 Architects designed the Monokuro House for a Japanese family looking for “an extremely simple modern house that would express the clear dark/light contrast found in traditional Japanese architecture.” (Monokuro is Japanese for “monochrome.”)

The thoughtfully engineered 2,550-square-foot home is designed for indoor/outdoor living. The open-plan layout places all of the public spaces on the lower level, while the bedrooms are located on the top floor. The design also makes great use of sustainable materials and employs passive building strategies such as cross ventilation, high thermal mass, setback windows, and operable skylights.

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