Group Home in Noboribetsu / Sou Fujimoto

Architects: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Location: Hokkaido, Japan
Principal Use: Group home for elderly with dementia
Project Year: 2006
Structure material:
Site Area: 1,637 sqm
Constructed Area: 745 sqm
Photographer: Daici Ano

The group home for the elderly people with dementia built in the residential section in Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido, JAPAN. The building is divided into two units across the entrance. Each unit has 9 bedrooms, so 18 elderly in total live with the staff.

floor plan

Living in the fluctuation

First of all, there is a big flame of 3×3 parallel crosses. The frame of space is made from the grid swinging gently perpendicularly. The intonation of a place is produced by being connected and separated. A certain part serves as a place of a spread of living and a dining room, and in somewhere else, the place of the end which was surrounded by the wall and settled down is produced. A place to stay seems to spring out with nature in a fluctuation of a big flame.

Cite: "Group Home in Noboribetsu / Sou Fujimoto" 07 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the space is so amazing, love the plan, love the wall-ceiling, love projects of Fujimoto

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Why are spaces planed in that way?
    I want to know the relationship between this shape of wall and the living of elderly with dementia.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    seems like people are going to be bumping there heads into the walls that goes into the ground……….looks nice though.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    yeah, i had the same thought as Macpod. I like how the communal places are cut from a continuous frame, and at those places skylights collect, allowing amazing light.

    AD staff, can you edit out Flame?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Great place in general, not the best for the elderly with all those slanted walls and stuff. and whats up with the bath room? one toilet for 10 old folks plus staff? or am I seeing wrong?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    wow you actually enter each block of living spaces…. through the bathroom. who cares about the wierd walls… the bathrooms are “demented”

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    clever structure, cozy corners for all function, columnless space in the middle to allow senses of open and connected space which they’ve managed to acheive by the cheapest way. love it

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There are some beautiful spaces and great natural lighting. I do think there are some strange parts of the plan though. I find the main entrance and the staff rooms being on a seemingly random third grid is awkward. Why are there “extra rooms” why not just have 9 rooms with bigger living space or an extra bathroom or even 10 rooms. However, I love the use of corrugated steel for the facade and in general the spaces are exciting.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    What an EG of this architect Does he know how Demented lives and sees? But nice looking building interior. Could have been a nice cottage. Whay do Architects in Japan still be able to do this ‘wrong’ architecture? The society is not critical to it, I assume.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Great slanting lines, maybe not too functional. The worst about the project are those awful radiators! It should have been floor heating…

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this project may not be their most functional…I think sou fujimoto is still one of the most convincing young offices right now. their research and experiments are theoretically strong and direct, and visually very appealing to me…
    the same kind of feeling I had for h&dm’s works a few years ago

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Those walls give me the feeling of something similar to a blanket that covers and protects. Anyway the photos inspire protective peace and quiet.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I admire Sou Fujimoto for most of his buildings, but this is just very bad architecture. People with dementia have cognitive difficulties, they need familiar things from their past in their surroundings. They will not recognize these spaces as places for living where they can relax, they will get even more confused in this building then they already are. I think architects with a very own style are often the most egocentric. It just looks good on pictures, that’s not how you must value buildings, architecture is much more serious then that.

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