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A Home Gets A Japandi Makeover By Alloi Architects

A Home Gets A Japandi Makeover By Alloi Architects

Check out the wonderful Japandi makeover given to the Wagoya residence, by Alloi Architects

By Chere Di Boscio

Alloi is a young architect-led design-build company with an eye for decor trends. And there is no better example of their work than the Wagoya Residence.

This is a refined, modern home made mainly from natural materials. It was commissioned by a doctor who was seeking a calm sanctuary to retreat to after working long, stressful days at the hospital.

Alloi’s owner Marcos Santa Ana comes from a long line of construction pros, yet chose to be an architect so he could express his visions more directly. In 2009, he launched his own architect-led design-build firm and has been steadily designing and building modern Japandi-inspired, healthy homes ever since.”

He focuses on designing timeless structures, smart systems, and even touches the interiors and landscape in his role as the architect-builder. He also happens to be a passive house certified architect and loves incorporating feng shui into the very foundations of each of the houses that he designs and builds.

The Wagoya Residence used to be a dull, typical suburban house. But Santa Ana modernised it with an Asian touch.

The Wagoya Residence

The Wagoya Residence

This formerly banal midcentury ranch, found in the airport-adjacent community of El Segundo, needed a serious refresh. Alloi wanted the home’s makeover to be as ecologically friendly as possible. So their new design focused on incorporating natural materials, sustainability, and functionality.

Also taking inspiration from the iconic Eichler homes of the mid-century era, Wagoya House pays homage to their timeless architectural style, including cladding.

Here, a custom vertical grain feature wall creates a dynamic interplay of light and shadow as the sun moves through the sky. The carefully aligned vertical panels cast captivating shadows that shift and evolve throughout the day. This gives visual depth and adds dimension of the space.


A large open living room features a striking steel and glass façade, merging the interior and exterior spaces. Natural light floods the living area, creating a sense of spaciousness and tranquility, while the panoramic views of the surrounding environment serve as a constant reminder of the home’s connection to nature.

A neutral colour palette is used throughout, and a Zen stone garden replaces the typical grass lawn in front of the house. The back yard also reflects those Zen vibes, and also features a cozy area with an ethanol brazier.

Here below, Marco Santa Ana tells us a bit more about the Japandi makeover Alloi Architects gave the Wagoya residence.

Japandi Makeover By Alloi Architects

Japandi Makeover

Why do you think Japandi style has become so popular?

Japanese culture delivers a sense of connection to nature, the body and mind which adds value to all human beings. Danish culture employs minimalism through a warm inviting use of materials with a clean special vocabulary. The blend of these cultures and styles creates a unique harmony.

Given the steel and glass façade, how does the house stay warm?

The wagoya house design provides a visual connection to nature through its large north westerly façade. The deep overhang cantilever protects the interior from overheating in the summer, but also allows the sun to warm the house in the winter. We also specified high performance glazing to control the interior environment. And of course, there’s a fireplace!

Japandi Makeover

See Also

Which Feng Shui elements were incorporated into the house?

Exterior pathways and low landscape walls meander like a flowing river and allow the Qi energy to slow down and relax. These features start right at the street, as guests are welcomed to the front porch.

What are your personal favourite features of the house?

Definitely the front façade and the large cathedral-ceiling in the living room.

A home gets a Japandi Makeover by Alloi architects

What were the biggest challenges you faced with this renovation?

Balancing structural and energy goals with aesthetic requirements and performance.

What are the most eco friendly features?

There are quite a few! The vertical grain Douglas fir doors and window frames, as well as the  structural beams, interior and exterior siding.

The Wagoya Residence

What takeaways could our readers use from your own experience renovating his house?

There are clever ways to make use of an existing structure. Even older homes can optimise eco friendly materials to create a beautiful upgrade.

A home gets a Japandi Makeover by Alloi architectsA home gets a Japandi Makeover by Alloi architects

Chere Di Boscio
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