Tokyo’s new Hotel Okura will recreate iconic rooms from the original

A modernist hotel that featured in 1960s James Bond film You Only live Twice is being rebuilt to be more earthquake-proof, reopening in Tokyo next year. Despite a global campaign to save the the Hotel Okura Tokyo, it was demolished three years ago to make way for a bigger and more shock-proof design. It has now

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Schemata Architects contrasts original features with modern interventions for Japanese office

Schemata Architects, headed by Jo Nagasaka, has converted a traditional house in Kamakura, Japan, into an office featuring modern fitted furniture. The building is located in a quiet, residential neighbourhood in a city just south of Tokyo, surrounded by lush gardens. Nagasaka and his colleagues at Schemata Architects set about transforming the 80-year-old house into a residence

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Climbing wall and swing promote play at Hibinosekkei’s Tokyo childcare centre

Japanese architecture studio Hibinosekkei incorporated structures intended to encourage play into the interior design of this Tokyo support centre for children with developmental difficulties. The studio, which specialises in healthcare-related architecture, designed the facility for a site in Hamura, on the western edge of the Tokyo metropolitan region. The building’s design responds to the needs

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Courtyard House By Kouichi Kimura

Metal-clad walls form a horseshoe shape around a courtyard in Japanese architect Kouichi Kimura’s ‘Courtyard House’ in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture.
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Akihisa Hirata stacks concrete boxes to create “futuristic and savage” Tree-ness House

Japanese studio Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office has completed a mixed-use building in Tokyo featuring a jumbled composition of concrete rooms that create spaces for small balconies and gardens. The firm headed by architect Akihisa Hirata designed the building in Tokyo’s Toshima district to provide accommodation for a multi-generational family, alongside gallery spaces and offices. The design of

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Suzuki Architects combines a home and shop at Gré Square House

Large openings in the corrugated-metal facades of this boxy building in Shizuoka, Japan, frame views of the neighbourhood from a shop on the ground floor and residence above. Tokyo studio Suzuki Architects designed Gré Square House for a client who runs a business selling clothes and other products made from natural materials. The building’s ground

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Interlocking indoor and outdoor levels bring Japanese house close to nature

For this lakeside house in Japan, Tokyo-based studio Sugawaradaisuke used five interlocking levels to create multiple viewing platforms both inside and outside the property. Rather than a traditional two-storey structure, the architecture practice designed a multi-level layout for the cottage, that gives the occupants multiple perspectives of the surrounding forest. The house, called called Nojiri-ko Nature Platforms, sits

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House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

Japanese practice Hibinosekkei has completed a nursery in Yokohama, which features plywood-lined interiors and house-shaped openings set into its dark facades. MK-S Nursery was designed by local architecture office Hibinosekkei to accommodate a classroom for pre-school children and an after-school childcare centre within a former residential building. The project was overseen by the studio’s dedicated childcare division,

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Platforms function as tables and shelves inside Tato Architects’ House in Miyamoto

Japanese studio Tato Architects designed the interior of this house in Osaka as a single room containing angular platforms that perform multiple functions and are connected by a spiralling sequence of wooden steps. Tato Architects developed the house for a family of three who wanted a seamlessly connected interior space that facilitates a stronger connection between its occupants.

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Shoei House By Hearth Architects

Based in the Shiga, Hearth Architects work to create predominantly residential projects in Japan. Their Shoei House embraces a thin plot and welcomes the nature of the surrounding environment.
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Ana House By Kochi Architect’s Studio

Ana House is a property designed by Kochi Architect’s Studio, providing a home to a family of four. Located in Japan, the project was completed in 2016 and presents a striking play on spatial density through colour.
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Windowless facade obscures seaside home in Kanagawa by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Windowless concrete walls obscure the view from one side of this home designed by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates in the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa, while glazing and a cantilevering infinity pool make the most of sea vistas from the other. The residence’s street-facing northern facade is composed of three white boxes that have no openings, with only

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A Weekend House Fusing Modern And Traditional Japanese Design

Situated in Kumano-cho, Japan, ‘Weekend House in Kumano’ was constructed by Araki+Sasaki Architects to provide a weekend retreat home for a family with children.
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Japanese house by Kouichi Kimura includes white-tiled courtyard for yoga

A chimney-like tower covered in white tiles rises in the courtyard of this house in Shiga, Japan, which architect Kouichi Kimura has designed for the owner to host yoga classes. Located away from a busy main road, the two-storey residence combines a large block with a smaller one that appears to be slotted on top. There are no windows

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Sandwich creates “ship-shaped” art pavilion in Fukuyama to commemorate deaths at sea

Hundreds of thousands of wooden shingles cover the contoured form of this pavilion in the grounds of Japan’s Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens, which is designed to evoke the shape of a ship’s hull. The Kohtei pavilion was added to the gardens in the campus of Tenshinzan Shinshoji temple in Fukuyama city, Hiroshima, which was established as a tribute

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Apollo Architects’ minimal renovation aims to keep the atmosphere of an old family home in Tokyo

Rooflights, pale tiles and glossy flooring are among the tweaks that Apollo Architects & Associates made to a family home in Toyko to give it a light-filled living, kitchen and dining room. The Japanese architects were tasked with renovating the two-storey residence for a client whose father had built the house over 30 years ago. It is located in a suburban area of Tokyo called Ōta,

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Oblong windows puncture concrete office block by Yoshihiro Kato Atelier

Oblong windows with pivoting glazing cut through the striking white walls of this minimal five-storey office block in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, designed by local architects Yoshihiro Kato Atelier. The concrete building, named Tetote Note, is located on a tight 100-square-metre site in the city of Nagoya and provides collaborative workspaces for designers and their clients. “In Japanese, ‘tetote’ literally means

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Bright white living spaces overhang gallery in top-heavy Tokyo house by Form

Japanese studio Form designed this top-heavy home for a family in Tokyo, placing their living spaces in an elevated volume that overhangs a gallery for its apron-designer owner. The Kusatsu-based studio was asked to create the small house to meet the demands of family life, but also those of the client, who designs aprons. Covered in white render, Adorable House hosts a gallery and

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Black corrugated metal encases loft-inspired interiors of Tokyo house by TakaTina

American studio TakaTina has created a stark family home on the outskirts of Tokyo, featuring bright white interiors inspired by the client’s previous Brooklyn loft apartment and an inky black exterior. The New York based architects, husband-and-wife team Takaaki and Christina Kawabata, were commissioned to design the house for a family of four in a residential area west of the Japanese

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A Japanese House With Five Courtyards

Artist and architect Megumi Matsubara teamed up with Hiroi Ariyama to design a guest house and a private gallery for an art collector in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
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House in Mukainada is a Hiroshima home that straddles a circular path

Japanese studio FujiwaraMuro Architects has completed a house in Hiroshima, featuring a circular concrete and wood path that loops through both the building and the garden. FujiwaraMuro Architects designed House in Mukainada for an elderly couple who wanted a home that could accommodate their passion for gardening. Located in the city’s Mukainada neighbourhood, the building is also

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Full-size houses by Ryue Nishizawa and Terunobu Fujimori built inside Japanese House exhibition at Barbican

One of the best-known projects of SANAA co-founder Ryue Nishizawa has been recreated inside London’s Barbican as part of an exhibition about Japanese housing, along with a charred timber teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori. The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 looks at the experimental architecture that emerged in Japan after the second world war, and how it has developed up

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Hiroshi Sambuichi creates sculptural roofs over Naoshima community centre

Huge sculptural roofs made from cypress wood provide shelter for this community centre and hall, completed by architect Hiroshi Sambuichi on a small Japanese island. Hiroshima-based Sambuichi made use of several traditional Japanese building techniques for the pair of buildings, which provide community facilities for a town on the island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. The

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Yoshiyasu Mizuno uses sharply angled roof to disguise scale of Terada House

A steep wooden roof covers the staggered levels of this family house in the Japanese city of Fujieda by architect Yoshiyasu Mizuno, concealing its full scale from certain angles. Designed for a couple and their two children in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, Terada House occupies a square-shaped plot that abuts an existing residence. From the street the house appears to have a three

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Takashige Yamashita creates nursery with curving timber roof near Mount Fuji

A wavy plywood roof undulates above the glass-walled rooms of this nursery in Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture. Toranoko Nursery was designed by Tokyo-based Takashige Yamashita Office for a site southwest of the Japanese capital, which has a clear view towards Mount Fuji. The nursery is located at the centre of a campus providing care to the elderly,

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Jun Igarashi uses plywood boxes to separate studio from home for Japanese painter

A cluster of timber-clad boxes are set at varying angles to ensure optimal daylight reaches the interior of this house and artist’s studio in the Japanese town of Oasa. Architect Jun Igarashi gave the project the name Bending House because of its irregular floorplan, which twists and folds along a plot in a residential neighbourhood. Igarashi said the main reason

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A Concrete House Surrounded By Emerald Waters

Located on the shores of Yoron Island, a Japanese island which was created from elevated coral reefs, the house designed by Case-Real is a solid concrete structure with a delightedly sublime interior.
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Wooden boxes define rooms and mezzanines in Loft House by CAPD

Japanese studio CAPD has used large wooden boxes to created rooms and mezzanine floors within a house in Tokushima Prefecture (+ slideshow). The local architects designed the 92-square-metre house to look like a “big box”, giving it simple grey corrugated metal walls and a flat roof. Inside, the rectangular plan is divided up with plywood partitions to create More

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Teepee-shaped buildings by Issei Suma house community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

This cluster of tent-like structures was designed by Tokyo architect Issei Suma to provide meals and accommodation to the elderly residents of a small Japanese community (+ slideshow). Called Jikka, the small complex is made up of five pointy structures, containing an assortment of facilities including a spiral-shaped paddling pool and a spacious kitchen. Suma designed More

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Apollo Architects completes earthquake-resistant house with a hat-like roof

A pointy wooden roof tops this concrete house in Tokyo, which led Apollo Architects & Associates to name the building Hat. The three-storey house is located in Shinjuku ward, an area where the Japanese architects claim you can find “the remnants of the good old days of Tokyo”. Their challenge was to develop a design that responds to the More

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MAD transforms Japanese house into curvaceous kindergarten with a slide along one wall

Chinese studio MAD has draped a “skin” of white asphalt shingles over the wooden structure of an old house in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture to create a kindergarten with a curving roofline (+ slideshow). MAD completely overhauled the home of siblings Kentaro and Tamaki Nara to create Clover House Kindergarten – the Beijing studio’s first project in Japan. The Naras were previously running More

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House in Mikage by Sides Core contrasts white surfaces with exposed wooden beams

Osaka studio Sides Core has created a house in Kobe, conceived as a series of simple wooden containers (+ slideshow). Sides Core founders Sohei Arao and Sumiko Arao were asked to create House in Mikage for a family with a young child, having designed a beauty salon for the same couple 15 years ago. The More

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Uji House by Alts Design Office features a deliberately complex layout

Wooden crosses mark the entrances to this house in Japan, which features an intentionally complicated layout designed by Alts Design Office to create more privacy for residents (+ slideshow). Called Uji House, the two-storey, 103-square-metre property provides a home for a family living on the outskirts of Kyoto. Locally based Alts Design Office designed the house to be as inward-facing More

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Sayama Forest Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura is covered with hand-bent aluminium shingles

A+Awards: next up in our series on winning projects from Architizer’s 2016 A+Awards is a small chapel by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura, which features extreme gables and a roof covered in 21,000 aluminium shingles (+ slideshow). Nakamura and his Tokyo studio NAP created the Sayama Forest Chapel for a site at the edge of a forest, which forms More

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Four-metre-wide house built in Tokyo by Atelier HAKO Architects

Atelier HAKO Architects has squeezed a three-storey house onto a four-metre-wide site in Tokyo, suggesting that skinny houses are still the rage in Japan (+ slideshow). The Japanese firm was tasked with creating a family home on the narrow site, located in the city’s Shibuya ward. To achieve this, architects Yukinobu Nanashima and Tomomi Sano planned a 70-square-metre building that More

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Tea room and veranda provide socialising space in Katsutoshi Sasaki’s Wengawa House

Translucent curtains surround a mezzanine tea room in the heart of this home, designed by Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates for a retired couple in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture (+ slideshow). The Japanese practice designed Wengawa House for a husband and wife in their 60s within a quiet residential area of Anjo. The 97-square-metre house is surrounded by a wooden veranda and More

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A Japanese Home Flooded By Granular Light

Yoshiaki Yamashita Architect & Associates designed a three-story Osaka home that prioritizes both privacy and light.
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Edmund Sumner photographs Kenzo Tange’s “brutal classic” St Mary’s Cathedral

Swooping steel-clad walls support the cross-shaped roof window of Kenzo Tange’s 1960s St Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo, documented in these new images by architecture photographer Edmund Sumner (+ slideshow). Located in the Bunkyō district, the cathedral was designed by the Japanese architect to reference the lightness of a bird and its wings. It is one of Tange’s most famous building. Sumner, who photographed More

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A Concrete Church in Japan

A solid concrete construction from the outside, Shonan Christ Church hides its most significant feature: a play of lights in the inside, with only one tiny ray of sun coming in when the hymn is sung towards the end of the service.
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Alts Design Office uses arches and curves throughout Outsu House in Japan

Arched openings and curved walls feature throughout this compact family home in Japan, designed by architecture studio Alts Design Office to make the interior feel more cosy (+ slideshow). Named Outsu House, the two storey-property provides a home for a couple and their young daughter in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. An angular roof gives the building an asymmetric profile. More

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A Home Wrapped In A Transluscent Moiré Pattern

Japanese architect and artist Fumihiko Sano of studio PHENOMENON designed a home near Tokyo fronted by a double-layer stainless steel fence, which creates a striking moiré effect.
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Koizumi Sekkei Placed A Basketball Court In A House

Although it looks like yet another amazing minimal Japanese residence from the outside, the house built by Koizumi Sekkei has a unique feature – the architects built a basketball court in its entrance hall.
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Slice Of The City By Alphaville

Located in a residential neighbourhood of Nishinomiya, Japan, the house designed by Alphaville Architects seeks for a solution to provide enough of the daylight while not affecting the privacy of its owners at the same time.
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Tetsuo Yamaji builds “a non-mass-produced house with mass-produced components”

For this house on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japanese architect Tetsuo Yamaji aimed to create a unique building using mass-produced components (+ slideshow). Yamaji – who recently set up his own studio after a stint in Kengo Kuma’s office – wanted the Saitama property to take advantage of the benefits of prefabrication, but to also cater to the More

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Twin micro homes by S Plus One are both finished in different woods

Architecture studio S Plus One has built a pair of matching micro homes in a Japanese village, one clad in cedar and the other clad with pine. S Plus One principal Yumiko Sakano was commissioned by the local government of Tabayama, a mountain village two-hours drive west of Tokyo, to create the pair of starter homes. The aim is to encourage More

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Atelier Kukka’s House U stands beside a cherry blossom tree in Tokyo

Red cedar provides a golden-hued exterior for this small gabled house, designed by local studio Atelier Kukka for a Tokyo street featuring a cherry blossom tree (+ slideshow). The 67-square-metre House U provides a home for a couple in their 40s. Their brief to Atelier Kukka founder Maki Okubo was for a simple but impressive-looking building that frames views More

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NTA completes office in Japan with a faceted weathering-steel roof structure

Pre-rusted steel pyramids protrude down from the ceiling of this glazed office building, which Japanese studio NTA designed for a construction company in Chiba Prefecture (+ slideshow). The Nobuhiro Tsukada-led architecture studio designed the single-storey office for Daiei Iron Works. The steel-framed structure stands beside the company’s huge metal-clad factory, where the triangular pieces of weathering steel used to construct the ceiling were manufactured. The facets More

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A Minimal Weekend House In Japan

Japanese architecture practice Process5 Design created the ‘T Weekend Residence’, a concrete retreat overlooking the sea near the city of Osaka.
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Tatami mats create gridded layout for Kenrak Tokmoto’s Inari House

Traditional Japanese floor mats define the proportions of this house in Niigata, designed by Tokmoto Architectures Room as a strict grid of squares (+ slideshow). Tatami mats have been commonly used as a flooring surface in Japanese houses for centuries, but local architect Kenrak Tokmoto has taken a step further by designing every room of More

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Japanese architects have rejected the starchitect system says MoMA curator

Contemporary Japanese architects have created “a legacy with more consistency” than the famous names that dominate architecture elsewhere, says the curator of a major new MoMA exhibition (+ slideshow). MoMA’s show, which is titled A Japanese Constellation, focuses on the work of three generations of Japanese architects, including Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima and SANAA, and Sou Fujimoto. More

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All-encompassing roof frames terraces for Suppose Design Office’s House in Utsunomiya

A metal roof completely surrounds this house by Japanese studio Suppose Design Office, sheltering terraces and a garden so that residents can use these spaces all year round (+ slideshow). Located in Tochigi Prefecture, House in Utsunomiya is covered in clad in strips of white-painted Galvalume – a coated steel sheeting – and lined in Japanese cedar wood. Its huge roof More

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Mitsuharu Kojima creates curved grass-like floor inside Japanese family house

Mitsuharu Kojima Architects has created a sloped green floor inside a house in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture, intended to be reminiscent of a grassy hillside (+ slideshow). Located in the city of Maebashi, the Boko and Deko property was designed for a family of four who had asked for a variety of places to sit integrated into the architecture of their new home. More

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Hibino Sekkei and Youji no Shiro’s kindergarten features house-shaped reading nooks

Japanese studios Hibino Sekkei and Youji no Shiro have returned to a kindergarten building in Kanagawa Prefecture they designed 42 years ago, updating it to suit modern teaching styles (+ movie). Located on a site in a residential area of Atsugi city, the Atsugi Nozomi (AN) Kindergarten needed updating to comply with current earthquake safety More

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Kentaro Ishida adds stripy steel skin to asymmetric house in Japan

Japanese architect Kentaro Ishida has completed a steel-plated house on the outskirts of Tokyo, featuring an asymmetric pitched roof designed to maximise sunlight for residents (+ slideshow). Ishida – who set up his studio KIAS after working for Shigeru Ban and Herzog & de Meuron – gave U House a tall pitched roof to allow daylight to filter down to a strip of garden between the building and More

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Tomoyuki Kurokawa Architects completes Tokyo building covered in holes

The faceted volume of this concrete housing and office block in Tokyo is punctured by a series of holes that form windows, balconies and open-air stairwells (+ slideshow). Designed by local studio Tomoyuki Kurokawa Architects, Kitasenzoku Apartment is a six-storey building near the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It contains an office and residence for the client, More

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Buddhist temple in Tokyo upgraded by Satoru Hirota Architects

Satoru Hirota Architects has overhauled the site of a Buddhist shrine dating back to Japan’s Edo period, adding a triangular reception hall and a priest’s quarters with bare concrete walls (+ slideshow). The Tsunyuji temple was built sometime during the period between 1603 and 1868, but was destroyed during air strikes in the second world war and had to be More

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A Box-Shaped House In Tokyo By Apollo Architects

Japanese studio Apollo Architects & Associates designed a box-shaped house located in a residential area in Tokyo. Titled ‘ARK‘, the building’s structure features a timber surface as well as an oak wooden interior. Speaking of the inspiration behind the name for the project, the architects say that they were inspired by Noah’s ark. In a […]

Top-heavy house by Archi LAB designed to minimise snow buildup

A large white box is raised on stilts to create the upper floor of this house in Japan, sheltering a smaller ground floor and entrance from the heavy snowfalls that Hokkaido Prefecture experiences in winter (+ slideshow). The house shares a plot with the client’s parents’ house in a residential neighbourhood of Asahikawa and was designed by Japanese studio Archi More

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Roadside House by Naf Architect & Design has a driveway that doubles as a party space

Tokyo studio Naf Architect & Design designed this house in Niigata to fit around a narrow driveway, which doubles as a space for outdoor get-togethers during the neighbourhood’s annual lantern festival (+ slideshow). Rather than placing a yard at the front of the house, studio co-founders Akio Nakasa and Teppei Amano, designed the house to site lengthwise on the plot. This […]

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A Minimal Villa With An Art Gallery By Makoto Yamaguchi Design

Japanese architecture studio Makoto Yamaguchi Design created a minimalist villa featuring an art gallery in the small town of Karuizawa near Tokyo. The building features a unique shape as well as a floor-to-ceiling glass facade that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, there are large windows that face in every direction and provide enough […]

SYAP’s House in Yokkaichi has a roof angled upwards like the lid of an open box

The roof of this house in Japan is tilted above a band of glazing, allowing light to permeate the interior while also making the structure look like a box with a lifted lid (+ slideshow).  House in Yokkaichi was designed by Tokyo studio SYAP for a family living in a suburb of the city, which is located in Mie Prefecture. An angular clerestory […]

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Tsubasa Iwahashi completes Hyōgo house containing three types of staircase

Behind a simple concrete exterior, this house by Japanese architect Tsubasa Iwahashi contains a complex arrangement of rooms connected by three different kinds of staircase (+ slideshow). Named Relation, the house was designed by Osaka-based Iwahashi to create a series of separate spaces that are visually connected to one another. The aim is for the resident family to […]

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House in Nara by Keiichi Sugiyama features a raised cedar terrace

An elevated terrace stretches along one side of this narrow house in Nara, Japan, providing the residents with glimpses into the neighbourhood (+ slideshow). House in Nara is slotted into a thin sloping plot between a road and a neighbouring home to the west of the Nara Basin. The slender rectilinear volume by Kobe architect Keiichi […]

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Atelier Tekuto completes crystalline concrete home for two chemists

Volcanic ash is mixed into the concrete shell of this angular house in central Tokyo, which was designed by Atelier Tekuto for a pair of chemists (+ slideshow). The Japanese firm developed a type of “environmentally friendly” concrete for R Torso C, which uses particles of volcanic ash known as shirasu in place of traditional sand aggregate. The ash increases […]

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FT Architects’ 4 Columns house features a traditional timber frame and minimal interior

A traditional Japanese construction method was used for this house in Tokyo, which features four wooden columns arranged in a square to support the rest of the timber frame (+ slideshow). The 4 Columns house is located 20 kilometres from central Tokyo, in a neighbourhood that was previously dominated by farmland and factories. The area has recently become popular […]

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Little House Big Terrace by Takuro Yamamoto Architects features an elevated yoga terrace

A pair of large terraces channel through one side of this white house in Tokyo by Takuro Yamamoto Architects, providing residents with an outdoor yoga space and a sheltered parking area (+ slideshow). One side of Little House Big Terrace abuts a residential block, while the other borders a carpark. To ensure privacy on the overlooked plot, Tokyo-based Takuro Yamamoto Architects made all […]

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A Tipi-Shaped House In The Woods By NAP Architects

Japanese architecture practice NAP Architects created a tipi-shaped house in the woods near the small town of Nasu in the Tochigi area. In an attempt to cut down as few trees as possible, the architects came up with a tent-like shape that takes up only one third of the building’s volume. Surrounded by lush greenery, […]

Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio recreates “feeling of being in a grove” inside its own office

Rows of wooden pillars support various split-level floors to create a forest-like feel inside the Nagoya office of Japanese architecture firm Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio (+ slideshow). Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio’s new offices are located in a suburb to the east of central Nagoya on a plot close to a busy arterial road. Externally the building […]

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Sanjo Hokusei Community Centre designed by Yasunari Tsukada to look like a pair of houses

To help this community centre blend into its residential setting in Takamatsu, Japan, designer Yasunari Tsukada divided the building up into two house-shaped blocks (+ slideshow). The Sanjo Hokusei Community Centre is located in a densely built-up neighbourhood, so Osaka-based Tsukada decided to disguise the building’s size by splitting it between two smaller blocks. Both volumes have […]

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Tato Architects breaks up the volume of House in Toyonaka into seven stripes

This house in Osaka by Japanese studio Tato Architects features walls that step back and forth, worktops that merge with staircases, and windows that wrap around entire rooms (+ slideshow). With his design for House in Toyonaka, Tato Architects founder Yo Shimada wanted to give more importance to secondary elements like staircases, balustrades and windows, which […]

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