Edge / Apollo Architects & Associates

© Masao Nishikawa

Architects: Apollo Architects & Associates – Satoshi Kurosaki
Location: ,
Project area: 134 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa

© Masao Nishikawa

Located in the suburbs of Sendai, the site for this project was in the vicinity of two existing residential buildings designed by other architects. This house was therefore designed by taking into consideration how it would blend harmoniously into the surrounding area.

© Masao Nishikawa

The facade of the building was covered in concrete in order to provide the inhabitants with a sense of privacy, as well as to ensure that signs of life within the house were not visible from the outside. The outer walls of the building made of reinforced concrete, externally insulated due to the cold northern climate, were also coated with a photocatalyst that gave them a white gleam. Another distinctive feature of the house was the sleek and lightweight impression created by the sharp profile of the eaves and small, sleeve-like walls detached from the building proper – both designed in order to soften the heaviness of the reinforced concrete.

© Masao Nishikawa

A central courtyard sits in front of the entrance to the house on the first floor, while another courtyard that adjoins the south side of the family room also connects to the outdoor deck, establishing a sense of continuity with the raised tatami-floored space.

The use of unfinished concrete for the interior walls and ceilings gives the impression of a gleaming, black hardness in relation to the white facade, creating a contrast between the interior and exterior of the house.

© Masao Nishikawa

Climbing the staircase to the second floor while gazing out at the maple trees in the central courtyard, a bedroom comes into view. Going up another short flight of steps takes you to the children’s room, bathroom, and a spacious balcony.


By creating numerous intermediate zones that straddle the inside and outside of the house – a rooftop and balcony that provide opportunities for gardening, for instance – the inhabitants can enjoy their living environment all throughout the building.


In addition to being a carefully considered response to sites that see a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, the courtyard house typology is also deployed in residential architecture as a way of creating a permanent sanctuary for nature in an urbanizing neighborhood.

Cite: "Edge / Apollo Architects & Associates" 11 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=118357>
  • Manuel

    I really like the house, but was a post about a house in Sendai really necessary on the exact day that large parts of the city were (and are still being) destroyed by an earthquake AND a tsunami?

    • Ian Hertzler

      Agree with Manuel! I think a bit more restraint and a bit less hasty of a posting may have been in order, considering the disasters at hand and the added threat of a Nuclear Reactor cooling problem to boot.

  • erick kristanto

    I hope everybody is fine in Sendai, please accept my condolence for all the tsunami victims in Japan.

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    small, complicated, real state of the art…

  • Scott

    Is this house still standing I wonder???

  • Scott

    Also I think it was good to show this…. we can all see the horrific devastation that has affected this city and japan. Posting this house just allows us to see what was affected from our perspective as archidorks.