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. Suppose Design Office
  6. House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office

House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office

  • 01:00 - 2 August, 2009
House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office
House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office

House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office +14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Saijocho Saijo, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
  • Architects

    Suppose Design Office
  • Program

    Personal house
  • Area

    246.0 sqm

From the architect. When I create , I always think that I want to find the charm of the plan.

A client is a couple with three children hoped there are bright openhearted space, and keeping the privacy. This site is a field before, and bearing stratum is in the minus one meter from the ground side.Therefore, we thought support according to the composition of not the ground improvement, but a half underground from the beginning of the plan. The leftover soil by excavating the ground was used to making the hill, that thing is enabled the function of the garden on the exterior and guard their privacy from, house's neighborhood. The upper floors than a half underground are composed by only the pyrami-shaped roof, the lighting was token in the skylight.

The bright openhearted space of a undergound and first floor of feeling the calm, and the second floor with which light is filled while closing.

Each floor was connected by the hole made for the center of the floor,and they were able to materialize to become the various property.

Cite: "House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office" 02 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Maikerun · November 19, 2014

A great monolith. What a nicely inventive way to create privacy in a crowded country.

me · October 30, 2013

The house that hates its neighborhood.

Denuit 8 · August 14, 2012

Is great to see how in Japan they are open to every kind of idea. I can't understand how some people still think that a house needs to be a conventional four vertical walled building with windows and a conventional roof on it. Japanese architects are showing again with this example how to break all the stereotypes of contemporary living. Some hate it some love it, personally I love it as it is showing us some kind of evolution on architecture or what is architecture about if not to create great and innovative spaces for contemporary humans. Well done to the architects of this project.

V?ronique Parisot · March 22, 2012


I'm French, here in Saijo for 3 month at Hiroshima University. Can't locate the house though… Is it possible to tell me at least in what part of the town this is located ?

Many thanks

Véronique Parisot

Panos Dragonas · November 28, 2011

Primitive Hut Reloaded vs the Plastic Cave via @ArchDaily #GoEast

Stavros Martinos · November 28, 2011 ??????? ???? ??????? ???? ?????? ????????????? brief ??? ???????

RFive · January 20, 2011

House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office | ArchDaily vía @archdaily

Pamela · February 12, 2010

Suppose Design Office is, in my opinion, one of Japan&#39s most interesting ateliers /via @martintokyo nice!

Martin · February 12, 2010

Suppose Design Office is, in my opinion, one of Japan&#39s most interesting ateliers

Modern Zen Architecture · January 20, 2010

I like the modern twist on an idea that came back from days gone by! Absolutley brilliant!

Adhitecture · January 20, 2010


arnold · October 04, 2009

it's very egoistic architectural decision. there's no context with urban surrounding. such house could be replace everywhere: in Tokyo, in Osaka, in Nagoya... everywhere. it's like architectural UFO.

Andrei P · October 02, 2009

I'm curious about the material used on the outer skin.

Andrew Geber · September 29, 2009

hmm, indeed

Andrei P · September 29, 2009

F.L. Wright's houses didn't have doors either and he had lots of children. Japanese culture is completely different to ours. People are extremely polite and discrete. They used to have paper walls, which were never supposed to be soundproof. That's one reason they have lots of "love hotels" nowadays. As for the void around the stairs that is not only am architectural feature; it also serves to even the light in the house, receiving it from the skylight, but also reflected from the ground level.
I really love it. This is a simple, clear, but well studied concept.

Andrew Geber · September 28, 2009

i honestly dont understand this concept of doorless bedrooms..

atece · August 11, 2009 // house in Saijo // via archdaily

Andi · August 05, 2009

It looks like if someone want to go up the bedroom, they have to pass through the main bedroom first..?? And yea... there are a giant hole in the middle

d · August 05, 2009

i think it suggest a slight shifting way of living. seems like it push you to embrace the living area, encouraging togetherness. very powerful indeed..

Ralph Kent · August 04, 2009

normally a fan of most japanese architecture but this doesn't press any buttons for me. the form is overly representational but above all, i can't get over the size of the void around the stairs given property prices in japan. it seems to fly in the face of japanese economy of means and inventiveness, just flaunting the space, for now clear benefit other than a little borrowed light from that oculus.

Hui.X · August 04, 2009

good .like ....

StructureHub Blog · August 03, 2009

Reminds me of Arch Record's current House of the Month ( ). The two projects really show how interesting Japanese residential architecture really is.

Juni · August 03, 2009

They must have so many jealous neighbors.

??? · August 03, 2009 “???????????????”???????www

Michelle Kodner · August 03, 2009

These people know how to live.

Gatz · August 03, 2009

Dont fall down in the hole.

Luke Chamberlin · August 03, 2009

modernism mixed with ancient dwelling forms (I studied at Univ. Hiroshima near this house)

Audric · August 03, 2009

For some reason, I don't think that this project is that laudable. The design statement uses the terms "bright openhearted space" to describe the objectives of the client, but I personally don't think that they've successfully achieved that. The lack of windows on the children's floor, save the skylight, has already been mentioned. I can't imagine how it would be like maneuvering around the upper floors when it's fully furnished; the plans seem to indicate that there's very little space to squeeze past the beds (with no railings on the other side). The sloping walls contribute to the sense of claustrophobia (although they don't seem to be at a steep enough angle to severely limit the headspace).

alt · August 03, 2009

Design Tripe.
Cant wait to see the ground floor space turn into a swimming pool after a storm.
Must be a good salesman to sell this experiment into a family home.

d · August 05, 2009 06:32 AM

come on dude.. did you really think they didn't think about that? it's way beyond..

Terry Glenn Phipps · August 03, 2009 03:50 PM

How astute, you're perfectly correct that we live in a world that didn't start building below grade more than three millennia ago.

William Bell · August 03, 2009

Sometimes I feel like leaving everything behind and moving to Japan for a while... They never cease to amaze me!

Terry Glenn Phipps · August 03, 2009

This is one of those cases where the suburban context doesn't really merit a dialogue. The aerial photograph is pretty wonderful, leading me to imagine what the neighbors must think of the dustbuster-cum-volcano that landed next to their Japanese McMansions.

Burying the house below grade is a pretty clever way to obtain a green view and a lick of privacy.

Most of the concerns here expressed are particularly occidental. Those concerns make no sense in Japan (even modern Japan). The kids aren't plummeting down the stairs and they aren't disturbing their parents.

Terry Glenn Phipps

Craig Thomas · August 03, 2009

House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office | ArchDaily: The upper floors than a half underground are composed by onl..

NIM · August 03, 2009

Agreed with JK
strong idea, weak execution

thomas foral · August 03, 2009

House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office | ArchDaily -

create new · August 03, 2009

i want to live there

Lawrence Anderson · August 03, 2009

RT @archdailyHouse in Saijo / Suppose Design Office

theDude · August 03, 2009

Interesting and valid inspiration, but I think the house could be more kids-friendly with interesting contrasting openings in that roofspace.

That staircase during that night-time pipi-run could be fatal, sleep in safety gear kids!

Difficult to understand the translation of the text, but beautiful detailing by the way...

imagine · August 03, 2009


jk · August 03, 2009

oh, one more thing. there are no rails for any of those stairs... and in one of those photos i see a child's chair which means there's at least one very small dude living in that building - imagine that kid in a playful mood (or while sleepwalking, heh) accidentally stumbling and falling down those stairs... what a nasty fall that would be. and for what cost? just because the owner didnt wand some pointless rails to ruin the purist aesthetics of the interior? :D

for the safety of those kids living there i hope they are super-calm...

jk · August 03, 2009

the kids would always have to be careful not to catch their parents spending "intimate" time, and the parents would have to keep quiet while making love and stuff, not to wake up or disturb the kids - i dont see anything that would act as sound barriers... but then again - maybe thats what the owner wanted? weird.

and imagine the kids getting thirsty or something during night... they'd always have to run through the parents' room... kinda freaky, no?

whats even more freaky is that there are no windows in the kids' room!! only that skylight... then again i see both kids have pc's, so maybe they have webcams on the roof to see whats going on outside? and the parents' room only has that terrace for natural light...

the building looks supercool, yea, but i couldnt imagine myself living there as a parent, and if i were a child living there id feel like in a prison...

nonono · August 03, 2009

wow. this is realy SOMETHING!.. great

Joao Faria · August 03, 2009

Absolutly powerful, this is architecture!!

Gosia Kung, AIA · August 03, 2009

Living in the light well


Comments are closed

Read comments