House in Rokko / Tato Architects

  • 06 Jul 2012
  • Featured Houses Selected Works
© Kenichi Suzuki

Architects: Tato Architects
Location: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture,
Principal Designer: Yo shimada
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 94.5 sqm
Photographs: Kenichi Suzuki

I have been somewhat anxious about what an architecture in a place commanding a fine view should be. It is the state of affairs freezing affect towards the environment. What is the way, while enjoying the view, not to be dominant to the environment?

© Kenichi Suzuki

At an end of the residential area developed in the past halfway up Mt. Rokko the site was broad but too steep to bring in heavy machines for driving piles. A plane of 3.5 m by 13.5 m was left when a sufficient distance was secured, for manual digging for foundation, from the old breast wall and heaped soil.

Exploded Axon

The site was not necessitating much anxiety about people’s eyes. As people’s eyes from below would not reach the first floor, the first floor was walled with glass all around so that the fine view could be commanded to full extent, which was equipped with kitchen and visitor’s toilet. The first floor, while functioning as what is called LDK, was assumed to be used for such varieties of activities out of daily life as treating guests, creating music with friends, or taking care of his bicycles.

© Kenichi Suzuki

A bedroom, storing facilities, facilities using water were arranged on the second floor, which was leveled high with a roof of conventional appearance to join in the existing rows of old houses. The high- leveled second floor was walled around with wide openings distributed equally for the ease of natural ventilation.

© Kenichi Suzuki

Thermal storage system using midnight electricity was laid into slab concrete and on the second floor far-infrared radiation film floor heating system was supplemented. And in summer it is expected that balcony and eaves will block the sunlight and breeze from Mt. Rokko will carry indoor heat through.


Steel-frame construction was adopted complying with the client’s wishes. As physical labor was obliged, small 100 mm by 100 mm H-section steel was selected and each construction material was limited to weigh about 100 kg for carrying up to the site. Steel plate of 4.5 mm thick was laid for the cantilever balcony all around to make up for the loss of level structural plane caused by a large cutout of the second floor for stairway.

© Kenichi Suzuki

Observing the environment carefully without responding downright resulted in this house of hollow bare mortar floor ceilinged high and walled around with glass. I feel I have found a way to cope, on an equal footing, with the environment peculiar to this scenic site where the environment, the architecture and the resident’s various things of various styles and ages are mingling with each other.

Cite: "House in Rokko / Tato Architects" 06 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>


  • ws

    I really like the bottom floor contrast, but can’t understand the strong use of glass. Huge thermal losses and gains, as well electrical costs and minimal privacy, would occur.

  • haircut

    this house rules