Mascara House: a house with wings


In Hamamatsu City, Japan there is a house with wings…figuratively speaking, of course! Mascara House is a two-story building that seems to result as a mixture between a boat and a tower volume. An exquisite formal balance is brilliantly achieved by a middle section that stands lifted off the ground and is curved like the hull of a boat. Continue reading


House H: Y-shaped inhabitable forest


Structural solutions always play a decisive role when it comes to defining a space in architecture. Both aesthetic and functional values of any kind of building are deeply connected to such a challenging task…In Chiba, Japan House H proves how powerful a structural design can be when presenting an enigmatic character: Y-shaped wooden columns sustain rooms and lofts at diverse levels in a two-story volume with 64sqm of built area. The internal atmosphere of this tiny family house irradiates an unlimited sense of serenity provided by the relation established between structure, program and inhabitants. Continue reading


Meme Meadows Experimental House: gathering around a fireplace


Cold climates and a fireplace… There’s a very special experimental house in Hokkaido, Japan conceived to test the limits of domestic architecture in extreme cold conditions. Meme Meadows is a single story translucent cabin with 79sqm of constructed area developed from a traditional example of the indigenous Ainu, whose buildings were clad with bamboo grass in order to hold in the heat of a central fireplace that was never allowed to burn out. A contemporary approach turns an ancient concept into a modern residence capable of resisting the most defying context: snow, ice and negative temperatures. Let’s unravel the mystery behind this particular experimental house. Continue reading


MYZ Nest: perfectly settled in rice fields


When architecture follows nature’s example in a successful way the outcome is always surprisingly efficient and discrete. A perfect example of such delicate operation stands erected in Matsumoto, Japan. It’s called MYZ Nest and the name clearly reveals what kind of Nature’s source is behind this small, unique project. A mysterious bright building contrast with the green rice fields that surround it: a single plan conceals the whole domestic program distributed in a total floor area of 97sqm. In order to take advantage from the natural topography, the house is partially sunken into the ground with excavated soil built up around one facade for a better insulation, similar to a rabbit’s warren. Continue reading


House in Yamasaki: three volumes for a plinth house

An enigmatic architecture is always full of mystery and complexity… In this particular case, nothing is what is seems: a composition of three volumes – similar to the traditional pitched roof house – rests above a single inhabitable platform, giving body to a house for a family with two children. Continue reading


Ogikubo House: solving a puzzle

The following project deserves a brief introduction, merely because its conceptual design is quite similar to solving a puzzle. A puzzle tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to put together pieces in a logical way in order to come up with the desired solution.

In Tokyo, Japan there are several urban restrictions that can put to the test both client and architect capacities: high land prices and laws that regulate construction on small sites. Ogikubo House is a three-story building, with a small floor area of 117sqm, that responds to such a daring challenge in the most enigmatic way. Continue reading


Onjuku Surf Shack: there’s a black house over yonder

A weekend house by the sea – who wouldn’t love to have one? In Chiba, Japan there’s a black building called Onjuku Surf Shack made for a Tokyo-based couple that wanted a second home near the Pacific ocean. Continue reading


House Yagiyama: a fortress for retirement

A house has a primary function of shelter and refuge, protecting its inhabitants from the outside world. This concept of asylum can also be seen in the animal world, especially the turtle case. A full-bodied shell guarantees the safety of the turtle while providing a strong visual appearance. In Miyagi, Japan there’s a unique residence that assembles the concept of this peculiar creature: House Yagiyama. Continue reading


Hansha Reflection House: Modern Timber Structure

The Hansha Reflection House has a very unique location: it is situated at the entrance of Misakimizube Koen, which is one of the most picturesque parks overlooking the lake and surrounded by Sakura trees. Because of this location the house was treated like an object of the environment. Perhaps due to this, the house is called the Reflection House which has got several meanings here: interior/exterior reflection of the surrounding, introspective reflection of the spaces and of the house structure. Continue reading


House in Asamayama: life in a photographic camera

Sometimes architecture seems to work as a photographic camera… The exposure to natural light as well as the focus on a certain landscape or a specific point of view is constantly present in the process of making architecture.

House in Asamayama, Japan stands deeply bounded with this type of conceptual approach. This peculiar building (with 225 sq.m. of project area) is positioned near the mountain road access and projects its body into the vast tree forest that fills the entire slope of the hill. Continue reading