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  5. Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
  6. 1984
  7. AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, © Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

© Kazunori Fujimoto © Kazunori Fujimoto © Kazunori Fujimoto © Kazunori Fujimoto +13

From the architect. Tadao Ando’s design for the Koshino House features two parallel concrete rectangular confines. The forms are partially buried into the sloping ground of a national park and become a compositional addition to the landscape. Placed carefully as to not disrupt the pre-existing trees on the site, the structure responds to the adjacent ecosystem while the concrete forms address a more general nature through a playful manipulation of light. More about the Koshino House after the break.

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

The northern volume consists of a two-storey height containing a double height living room, a kitchen and a dining room on the first floor with the master bedroom and a study on the second floor. The southern mass then consists of six linearly organized children’s bedrooms, a bathroom and a lobby. Connecting the two spaces is a below grade tunnel that lies beneath the exterior stairs of the courtyard.

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

Ando used the space within the two rectangular prisms as a way to express the fundamental nature of the site. This space reveals a courtyard that drapes over and contours to the natural topography. 

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

A wide set of stairs follows the sloping land into the enclosed exterior space and allows the light that penetrates through the canopy of trees into the sunken courtyard. This self-governing space represents the fold of nature that has been bound by the conditioned structures and become synthetic.

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

Narrow apertures have been punched through the façades adjacent to the exterior staircase and manipulate complex crossings of natural light and shadow into the interior spaces. The patterns provide the only amount of ornament to the simple rooms. Other slots are cut from various planes of the two modules to produce the same effect of complexity throughout the entire house.


Four years after the original construction, Ando designed a new addition to the compound. Placed to the north of the existing structures, the new cave-like space rests within the upward sloping piece of land. The study features a bold curve in contradiction to the rectilinear organization, initiating a completely new rhythm.

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto

Separate from the original courtyard design, the space between the addition and the original mass allows nature to remove the forms from each other. A patch of grass weaves its way between the concrete structures, while the curved wall extends from the building to define the exterior space. Similar to the other boxes, a slice of the ceiling plane along the curved wall is removed to add that bit of complexity and ornamentation to the interior; however, the curved patterns of light greatly differ from the linear patterns in the former building.

© Kazunori Fujimoto
© Kazunori Fujimoto
Cite: Taylor Metcalf. "AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando Architect & Associates" 25 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Java_Sparrow · February 16, 2015
Richard Carlos · December 09, 2014

Tadao Ando can be considered one of the greatest modernists
in architectural design because he takes his understanding of modernism and makes it his own unique style. Ando designs in a way that addresses how human interactions can be related through the site, use of concrete forms, and manipulation of light. He pushes the ideals of modernism by not ignoring the regional past traditions of the site. The lightness of the concrete forms help create a sense of the existing space, while the lighting and shadowing enhances
the identity of the space. The Koshino House is a great example of how Tadao Ando thinks of everything with a purpose.

Ashley Vigen · November 20, 2013

Tadao Ando is one of the great modernists of architectural design. Here, in the Koshino House, we can definitely see his ability to design to shape how an occupant experiences the spaces within and around the house. He relies greatly on the contrast between light and dark to intrigue the occupant, and stimulate their experience of certain spaces. The use of concrete is also an important factor, as it provides a great medium for playing with the contrasts of light and shadows. Each detail is thought out with great purpose. These details, though they may be small or simple, have a large impact in bringing interest and warmth to the seemingly cold concrete walls which envelop each space. Overall Ando does a great job in expressing modernity through design.

Ryan Beck · November 18, 2013

In researching Tadao Ando’s Koshino House, I have found that it belongs to its own unique section of modernism. Ando is an architect that I have admired for some time, mainly due to his use of the plasticity of concrete, which is reminiscent to some project done by Frank Lloyd Wright. Another fascinating feature of his work on this house is the collection of light in various places through carefully placed light slots in order to create “light sculptures”. Daylighting is a fascinating topic that forces a designer to weigh the benefits of natural light against the energy loss caused by large windows, and I believe that Ando’s strategic placing of light slots and skylights is done with a good deal of intelligence with this house design.

bint · December 17, 2012

j'ai bien aimé le projet koshino house la fforme s'adapte à la nature sans l'interompre

E. Ivan Schulz · November 29, 2012

I really enjoy the expert use of light in this building. The concrete is almost creamy and acts like a giant continuous canvas for shadow play. I think if it was my house I would be tempted to keep it empty, haha.

Hugh Forte · August 04, 2012

this place.

Light Architecture · January 24, 2012

Le travail sur la Muralité, Tadao Ando représente parmi les rares architectes régionaliste critique

ppriolo · January 15, 2012

@ArchDaily Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando (1980-84).

Tom McAviney · December 03, 2011

Its procrastinate in Japan Month!!!! - Koshino House / Tadao Ando | ArchDaily vi @archdaily @TomMcNeil25 #architecture

akashi takahiro · November 22, 2011

? ???? ? Koshino house | Project Year: 1980-1984 ArchDaily #?? #?????? #???

?? · November 18, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando | ArchDaily via @archdaily

david villacorta · October 21, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando | ArchDaily vía @archdaily

Michal Ziso · October 15, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando | ArchDaily via @archdaily - So amazing I want to run my hand over the concrete

Manuel Mojarro · October 08, 2011

RECOMIENDO ESTA PAGINA DE ARQUITECTURA. MUY BUENA. AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando via @archdaily

Rajan Reddy · September 30, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando #architecture

Alma Caballero Z · September 29, 2011

"@cabralmalanca: El otro día me preguntaron, qué es una casa. No encontré mejor respuesta que esta" poética!

Eduardo Cabral · September 29, 2011

El otro día me preguntaron, qué es una casa. No encontré mejor respuesta que esta

RENarch · September 28, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Gosia Kung, AIA · September 27, 2011

Classics - Tadao Ando

Nicholas Patten · September 27, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House.

daop · September 27, 2011

Kudos for bringing Ando up. Very nice work indeed.

BUT thumbs down for the renders shown.
Publishing interior renders and talking about the manipulation of light seems a little nonsense to me.

collectivearc · September 27, 2011

Concrete has been a fascinating material of use in Japanese architecture. Here is one great example.

Gerardo Valle · September 26, 2011

Esta fue la primera casa que tuve que maquetear cuando entre a estudiar arquitectura // via @archdaily

ArchitectureDemarest · September 26, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando: Photo from Wikiarquitectura © MarianaTadao Ando’s design... @archdaily

André Amaral · September 26, 2011

Tadao Ando - SEM PALAVRAS > @archdaily

Jonathon Moreels · September 26, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando #architecture

Jon Moreels · September 26, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando #architecture

Architecture · September 26, 2011

AD Classics: Koshino House / Tadao Ando #architecture

eron costin · September 26, 2011

everything is in it's correct places, the proportion, the light control, relaxes the eyes, the oposite to the new tendency of desconstruction

indeed some of the images are renders, others are real fotos (watch the link in the images's credits)

up_today_arch · September 26, 2011

timeless mastership!...

Chris · September 26, 2011

As far as I know, this is the only residential building Ando has altered / added to after its completion, and he did so twice. First with the curved addition, and again a few years ago when the longer, one-story volume was demolished and replaced with a two-story structure on the same footprint. I can't find pics of the newer addition online, but you can make it out on the map if you zoom in. It's impressive that revisions over the course of 25 years can look so cohesive.

MAD*arx · September 26, 2011

feels so outdated now

lala · September 26, 2011 01:44 PM

outdated.... :) ... you are outdated with such non-sense comments.

Built 30 years ago, and its what most architects are going for nowadays, except for zaha fans of course.

dario · September 26, 2011

are render!

tDA · September 26, 2011

One of the greatest architects of all time.
An absolute master of light and form.
Thank-you for posting.

Randy · September 26, 2011

Nice, if you want to live in a mausoleum.


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© Kazunori Fujimoto

AD 经典: Koshino 住宅 / Tadao Ando