House in Kitakamakura / Suppose Design Office


Architects: Suppose Design Office
Location: Kamakura, Kanagawa,
Program: Personal house
Site area: 164.4 sqm
Building area: 60.42m
Total floor area: 113.62 sqm
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano from Nacasa&Partners Inc.

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Among the plots of land for sale in Kita Kamakura there are some sites in the outskirts which at first glance have the- negative condition of being uneven. This is a plan to create an appealing living space by building directly over that- uneven land.

From an architectural standpoint, with an upper and lower level, the influence of the footing and other aspects- cause too many uncertainties in the support of the retaining wall.


So, we propose to set shafts slightly away from the wall and create a steel frame between the shafts in- order to insure the safety of the living space and the site at the same time.

This also helps to keep the excavation which accompanies construction work on uneven sites to a minimum. In- addition, the space between the two levels which is created by the shafts and the retaining wall can be used as a- garden. Many kinds of natural spaces can be created, such as a Japanese Garden, Bath Terrace, or Green Garden.The- concrete will create a quiet, enclosed space, while an open space is created by the steel framework. Through these- two structural forms you can feel connected to the surrounding nature in this wonderful living space.


With just a few techniques we can overturn the stereotypes associated with this type of site. What was once viewed- as a site with poor building conditions can be changed into land with great possibilities.

Rather than looking at the negative side, we would like to continue searching for these possibilities by accepting all- that these sites have to offer.

Cite: "House in Kitakamakura / Suppose Design Office" 27 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Oliver

    this is a great house … especially the loft is cool.

  • zoso

    how do you get to the loft?

    • jim

      I don’t think the loft is an inhabited space, just a storage space, perhaps they have a ladder hidden away. Good question.

  • Dustin

    Do the japanese ever go wrong?

  • yin

    i argee this is a great house too!!

  • Guy Debord

    Amazing design. But also japanese architects are lucky about the building codes.

  • alejandro

    Would like to see some photos from the entrance and the “japanese room”

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  • Brad

    How is the “tiled” look achieved on the concrete outside the house? Obviously some kind of form but does anyone know specifically?

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  • StructureHub Blog

    Beautiful form, esp. how it seems to roll over itself going down the slope. The result is that the flanking walls of glass make it extraordinarily open and make you quite aware of the overall shape of the home, while the roof line makes you feel held close despite all the glass.

  • Julio Ramirez Bruna

    beautiful design.. the views and the relationship with the section of the slope…

  • kenchiku

    zoso, if you look closely at the upper level plan and the section you will notice a narrow ladder fixed the internal face of the external wall that is accessible from the top left hand side of the bedroom which gives access to the loft.

    i agree that the loft in all liklihood is probably used for storage. as with most japanese residential architecture there is little in the way of built storage therefore using a loft is ideal, and natually accesses via steps/ladders is typical and expected in japan anyhow.

    beautifully designed and executed i think. might have been nice to punch some skylights or sim through the flowing roof form to enable sufficient daylight during the dark and cold winter months. nice to see “shakkei” (borrowed scenery) being used again (small garden near entrance) which certainly bridges the gap between made and natural. great job!

  • Gatz

    Dinning and tanking a shower. Table for two.

  • Andrew Geber

    I like the bamboo :)