House in Jigozen / Suppose Design Office


Architects: Suppose Design Office
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
Program: Personal house
Structure: Wooden structure, 2 stories
Site area: 174.75 sqm
Building area: 44.41m
Total floor area: 111.78 sqm
Design year: 2006-2008
Construction year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano from Nacasa&Partners Inc.

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Built by the sea, this is a house designed for a family of three; a mother, a father and one child. Along with the exhilarating feeling of being by the sea comes the longstanding idea that this spot i s prone to damage from natural disasters, especially during Typhoon season.

If we look at the past , there are many examples of damage caused by nature, such as windstorms or flooding. Therefore, it becomes necessary to build a house where you can feel relaxed while also taking into consideration these natural disasters from the very start of planning.


“The Line between Interior and Exterior”

In this building, the interior and exterior flow together with the existence of what you could call a half-outdoor space.

This space creates a gradation from inside to outside. With a space whi ch is at the same time like a terrace, a veranda, an inside room, and the outdoors, items which normally would be found inside, such as books and paintings, a study or a bath, can actively participate in this middle-ground between interior and exterior. This space fulfills the role of connecting the outside to the inside. In addition, it serves as a buffer to the various natural-phenomena found in the outdoors. It solves the seemingly contrary problems of “protection” and “openness” at the same time.


The construction method I have come up with leaves freedom for many choices while still using as the construction material. Generally, wooden construction uses beams and posts, along with counterbraces in order to make a building resistant to earthquakes.

However, here we use a construction method where the posts are like counterbraces and the counterbraces are like posts.


By placing the posts diagonally, we can achieve a simple framework which, while being made of wood, does not stifle openness. By searching for various spaces, between interior and exterior, between posts and counterbraces, I believe we can arrive at one answer which leads us to the connection of openness and nature found in this very attractive site by the sea.

I believe we may be able to see the future of architecture by looking for the importance in any and all relationships, and searching for what we can f ind in the space between two things.

Cite: "House in Jigozen / Suppose Design Office" 26 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>

    What’s with the windows?

  • Lucas Gray

    This is beautiful. I love the playfulness of the window design and the angled awning over the door. The interior also seems light open and airy. I would love to live there.

  • dariu

    very nice the project! I like the ambiguity between exterior and interior!

  • Carlos Ferreira

    God that’s atrocious. Completely lacking context and any hierarchy of form language or detail.

  • Pedro

    Couldn’t agree more Carlos!!It’s like a house designed by a ten year old student…it’s really childish!What’s with the windows??and with the Aquarium like glass divisions??JESUS!!!!

  • sean

    i think it is actually horrible… so squared and the windows are like “ah?” sorry…

  • toyboy


  • gonzalo iturriaga


  • bentply

    I think this is a great project. It’s very playful and witty, but with very crisp details. This office keeps producing fantastic projects.

  • Pi

    Facade is just a joke…and not a good one. It simply doesn’t work with this Window’s play. I understand the idea could sound nice or funny, but the result isn’t at all. Not enough subtle.

  • theDude

    Beautiful detailing, trust the japanese, but also not sure if those windows would not bother me after a while… Interesting scheme.

  • SeSar

    ironic: awful façade and design office
    god laught me

  • john wayne

    now this is architecture in it’s pure form… simple & playful, art for art’s sake that one can live in and feel at home… only in japan

  • davvid

    Obviously, the windows really turn off some and turn on others. I’ve heard/seen too many sharp ideas killed off by someone higher up with “good taste”

    I like project and love the windows.

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  • lazy

    i like this project. the facade seems like some fairies live in it. interiors are also spacious and lightful

  • Davide

    Ten years from now the architect and the owner will look at this facade and will ask themselves what they had in mind ten years before.
    Ten months from now the admin of this site will look at this page and will judge the project is not worth the space on his HDD anymore.
    Ten minutes from now I will not think about this WRONG project anymore.
    It’s just a matter of economy: the most a choice is unuseful related to the resources it envolves the most quickly you will be ready to pass over it.
    We should really re-think architecture in a what-we-need perspective rather than in a what-we-can one.

  • ofv

    C’est qui suppositoire design office ?

  • loosman

    this project is wonderful and refreshing. The plan and spatial manipulation is sophisticated and I enjoy the restraint exercised in the facade.

    the negative criticism posted about this house is so obvious and so boring.

  • kenchiku

    different – yes. well detailed – quite possibly. but in all we must remember that the client is japanese as is the architect with quite possible very different views from us therefore delighting both parties – and probably the japanese public also. there is probably a good chance that this home will no longer be standing in the next 15 – 20 yrs as is with most buildings in tokyo. actually over 30% of the buildings in the tokyo metro were built from 1985 onwards. so, i think its great to have a “go”, try something different, its all experimentation, none of it is original – but its interpretation is personal to all who view and use it. beautiful.

  • loosman

    nicely put kenchiku

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  • jules.gianakos

    I do think the windows are a bit silly, but I also enjoy the openness of the programmatic lay out, and I find it over all to be successful. I also agree with kenchiku in the sense that it is nice to see some one intentionally trying some thing different in what could be in the grand scheme of things a more temporary structure. Suppose Design Office has so many great residences under their belt, all of which vary greatly in design but are consistently powerful and well done.