ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. Japan
  5. FORM | Kouichi Kimura
  6. 2009
  7. House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

  • 01:00 - 19 May, 2009
House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura
House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura +18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Shiga Prefecture, Japan
  • Architects

    FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
  • Client

  • Area

    21535.0 sqm
  • Project Year


© Takumi Ota

This house, located in a new residential area, is for a 30-something couple.

Surrounded by other houses, the design goal was set up to block out the outside world while avoiding too much closure, as well as to provide rich and sensuous spaces.

First, a small patio and a path connected to it were laid out between the living/dining room and exterior. They are surrounded by a wall that blocks off the line of sight from outside. Planting and pond are laid out at the patio, so that the picturesque images of green and water are viewed from the rooms.

Enclosed by walls that create indirect light filling softly the entire room, the house presents sentimental scenes here and there. The living spaces and the life lived there are enveloped by green and light, creating an affectionate environment.

Cite: "House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura" 19 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


? ? · November 13, 2013

what a nice building?

Davide Romeo · November 03, 2011

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura | ArchDaily via @archdaily

VCENZ · October 20, 2011

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura | ArchDaily via @archdaily

?????.bindoe · November 24, 2010

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura | ArchDaily via @archdaily

HyunChung · July 12, 2009

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

Vasin · July 08, 2009

The spaces are beautiful. But one bed room is very restricted. When thinking about living kids, it could be a nightmare.

Joshua · June 26, 2009

1 The front facade/driveway has no fence.

2 The backyard gardens in Boston New York and Philadelphia have 6-8 ft high fences.

3 The 'inward-looking' house did not start with the Romans, and was developed simultaneously all of the world, how euro-centric.

4 Good fences make good neighbors. The absolution of privacy that is currently trendy in the name of 'community' is absurd, most people do not want to live in a glass box. Eveb the Farnesworth house has curtains.

Mark Pakula · May 25, 2009

@andywana found it on that site,

francis · May 22, 2009

Architect and client relationship is more then just meeting basic needs, and privacy is not exclusive. We can tango all season long on what FORM-Kimura has delivered or where he has gathered his strength from ... but we must foremost answer the architect on whether he has succeeded in what he said (see his text) he has set out to achieve. Nevermind going round the world in 80 architects or overcoming the walled-community issues. However, I do believe that an architect should occasional (when the opportunity arise) forget s/he is an elite and slow the acceleration towards a less-friendly aspect of architecture. Everyone need to play a part in a force for better social change, especially an architect with influence, and some might say, it is a duty.
Perhaps here, it is acceptable in judging that this house is within a comfortable ratio of the variety? Change is a concerted effort. I shall leave you to your intellect.

LargoJax · May 22, 2009

One of the most valued (rare) basic needs in Japan is privacy, and FORM-Kimura has succeeded here. This is not understood by Daniel Con and his possy. Also, Japanese traditionally have a different approach to city planning and exterior treatments of buildings which goes back centuries. The architects, sensitive to these traditions, effectively (as usual) take the needs of their clients and execute with consistency.

Terry Glenn Phipps · May 22, 2009

Well that is just my point. The alternative that is shown to be better is entirely western, plastic Corbusian in its conception. Neither does it provide any measure of privacy whatsoever from the street.

The typology of entirely inward looking, layered housing is fundamentally Roman in conception and pervasive throughout history. It is rare that a sense of space is actually about space itself in mathematical terms. Everyone has their preferences, but I don't find the volumetric composition of what was shown in alternative pleasing in any way.

Color palette is a symmetrical argument, and perhaps the one that is most closely associated with culture. What Japanese culture recognizes as a natural color palette is not western. I happen to love it (as did Wright, Scarpa, Neutra, Schindler, Breuer, and every other modernist who visited Japan in the first half of the 20th century) but some may not.

Having actually lived in a New York townhouse (as well as a London townhouse) I can tell you that the urban density is in no way comparable. The smallest townhouses in New York are roughly triple the size of this built area and many (most) run to four or five times the built area. There is no parallel to Japanese urban density in the modern world.

Mr. Kimura's work has consistently seemed to be divisive here. I suppose that is a sign of quality. People who are making cereal boxes elicit scant debate. Personally, I am a fan of this studio.

Terry Glenn Phipps

INawe · May 21, 2009

I agree with Bo on this one. I see nothing wrong with a house "looking" inwards. however the architectural details and awkward spaces inside and out seemed forced or were not pushed far enough in design.

Bo Lucki · May 21, 2009

If I could just jump in... since architecture is a union between form and function AND it is the client who pays architect to have his/her needs satisfied, the outcome IS a fusion of these two factors. The client likely wanted to separate himself from the environment - his right to exercise. What bothers me in this project is that aspects on which architect has more influence than the client (like colour, form and/or technical detail) appear to be somewhat neglected. The house doesn't harmoniously fit into the surroundings and this is what the architect is accountable for. I can say nothing on the interior as it is a result of Japanese living culture but for a Westerner the house do appears like a prison cell. It would be way less controversial if the architect tried (at least a bit) to be more sensitive to the house setting.

Daniel Con · May 21, 2009

I believe that this house here is of equal density and achieves MUCH more than Mr. Kimura's

Daniel Con · May 21, 2009

Terry, first as a clarification, I have never lived outside of an urban environment which is why I believe that my comments are just. I think that you are assuming that I am advocating for suburban American house here. I am not
Look at any typical townhouse in Boston, New York etc... More dense than this neighborhood in Tokyo (from what I can see in the photos). Yet in these urban neighborhoods there are clear zones of public and private living. The public "stoop" facing the street, the living space is plenty private, and if you are lucky enough there is a private garden in the back of the townhouse. These homes are not windows to the public environment, but they do engage it, which I think is very important in an urban environment. From a public safety point of view, there needs to be a connection between the residents and the neighborhood. They need to have their private space, but share the neighborhood. This house blocks out the neighborhood and the neighbors, and in my opinion is a bad example of URBAN design

francis · May 21, 2009

Erm, Terry was doing so well until the "challenge". I doubt FORM would/should/have/dared ... suggest such a notion. The lost of "community" is an important point that Daniel Con made, and it is one that had to be made to bear on a collective rather then the individual. I know it has to begin .... eventually ... one fine day perhaps.

Terry Glenn Phipps · May 21, 2009

There is a befuddling quality to this commentary that never ceases to amaze me. The charitable conclusion is that these canards are floated by people who have very little actual experience of urban living. It is very hard to understand why a Japanese house is judged forbidding because of the devices it uses to create space and privacy while the same thing in London or New York would draw kudos for ingenuity.

In case no one was paying attention, the lot line and building code are realities. Bay at the moon in solicitation of your morning slice of sky until hell freezes over and you won't make any more space in Japan.

One the things that I really appreciate about Mr. Kimura's work is that it is authentically Japanese while taking into account that there is something called the occidental world where great architects have been practicing too. It is fascinating for me to see the spatial concepts that modern architects in the west (FLW, etc.) cribbed from the tradition of Japanese spatialism (as juxtaposed with obsession with symmetry and duality in other Asian architecture) finally boomerang back to Japan refracted into something that is both fresh and genuine.

There is a big difference between this architectural language and the essentially western thinking (however clever and audacious it may be) of practitioners such as Toyo Ito or Tadao Ando. This is satisfying domestic architecture tuned to the needs of its place, its time, and striking all the right notes.

I challenge anyone to post a building in an urban context of equal density that achieves more than Mr. Kimura's work does.

Terry Glenn Phipps

christos · May 21, 2009

paint the house white and you have a winner!!

Jason Carpio · May 21, 2009

RT @SurfaceMag Rigid geometries create a surprisingly serene and sentimental space in Shiga, Japan:

giuliano.pastorelli · May 20, 2009

la lleva FORM, me gustan los interiores de sus casas

Daniel Con · May 20, 2009

Jaxolargo, wouldn't it be nice to wake up in the morning and see the sky?? or watch your kids playing with their friends outside? yes, it is a city, yes it is the subs of why hide from it? How can there be any community if everyone hides behind their walls and thus makes it an even more depressing and cold environment? And tell me Ultraman where is the garden? Is it the small sliver of space between the house and wall? It is very depressing to me, but that is just my opinion. The interiors are nicely designed, but that is all. There are ways to have privacy without creating a prison cell.

eliana · May 20, 2009

Excellente house architecture if we forget that real people will live neighbors, no city views, no gardens, no environment, no sun light...just had the feeling of the movie "Home Alone".
And the color gray on everything doesn't help this feeling to vanish.
But, as I said on the begining, it's very plastic.

francis · May 20, 2009

To say that Kimura's work is quintessentially Japanese because we see references of it to "known" Japanese elements and designs, aside from the obvious locality/location of his work, is not right nor wrong. Kimura has expressed his influence from Scarpa, therefore, we have to conclude it isn't purely "Japanese" as many of us would like to hasten a "guess" at his work. Today, we all live in very similar conditions and under equal demands.
For me, it is the solutions and ingenuity he brings into his creations. The ability to knit the clients, the materials, the budget, the spaces, the site, and the hierarchy (if anything, this is most Japanese centred) of all into one harmonious unit is what I see. Only the Tatami room is the one luxury that draws no comparison in a western home. It would be out of place anyway.
There is much to like and little to criticise here. The second bedroom seems flexible (thoughtful), the storage and the main bedroom very well handled. Overall, I prefer the more playful "Little House", but I can appreciate they serve their clients' needs foremost. Good work Mr. Kimura and always a pleasure to see.

BS · May 20, 2009

The wall does disturb me a little. Its quite an overpowering gesture.

Matt · May 20, 2009

I love this man's work.
So simple and modern, yet still warm and human,and referencing Japanese tradition.
I love the idea of a family sanctuary locked away from the rest of the world. This is very Japanese.
Go to some of the old charming streets of Kyoto and there is very little engagement with the street.
New urbanist doctrinaires would hate it.
Kimura is now my favourite Japanese architect.

Pinch. · May 20, 2009

Shape: FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects erect a "House of Inclusion" (or enough of it) in Shiga, Japan. RT @archdaily.

Fino · May 20, 2009

....It seems like it's too much of a fortress to be a home. So beautiful on the inside, but nothing to share on the outside. Then again, it is Japan, so I am pretty sure it is a treat to come into a home that completely shuts out the hustle of the city. It's a good project that ironically has both negative and positive responses to its surroundings.

that is all · May 20, 2009

House of Inclusion / FORM | Kouichi Kimura | ArchDaily

Patrick Lim · May 20, 2009

RT @Pinch_BespokeShape: FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects erect a "House of Inclusion" (or enough of it) in Shiga, Japan.

Ultra man · May 20, 2009

@ Daniel Con. Actually it is not a trend, but a traditional typology in Japanese urbanism. Traditional home were mostly a platform with movable paper partitions (Fusuma), and connected to functional rooms (toilet, kitchen, entrance...) the whole within a garden separated from the street (often just a dirt road) with very high solid walls. It meant a very distinctive separation between the private family space and the rest of the city (itself very divided and enclosed with forbidden areas, quarters...). The idea of connecting the city with the dwelling in Japan is actually very modern, and rare because Tokyo is really chaotic (but often very clean).

Jaxolargo · May 20, 2009

So, to hesitantly comment on Daniel Con's comments "concerned about the lack of connection with the exterior environment" - it's a city - concrete - subs of Japan - Hallloooo - wtf???? I think the pics speak for itself and I'll ad, I'll definitely ad as many walls to have some privacy if surrounded by fools like Daniel Con! Thank you.

Bryant Hughes · May 20, 2009

RT: @designkitchen: Rigid geometries create a surprisingly serene and sentimental space in Shiga, Japan:

Remkool · May 20, 2009

Thinking in the city....Is just a box.

Daniel Con · May 19, 2009

I have noticed a trend in the recent japanese projects of wanting to close off the outside world. I think the interior light is wonderful, but I am just concerned about the lack of connection with the exterior environment

Bo Lucky · May 19, 2009

Very nice'n tiny Japanese house... but why with no roof???


Comments are closed

Read comments

包含住宅 / FORM | Kouichi Kimura