Slit House / EASTERN Design Office

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

Designed for an 80 year old woman, EASTERN Design Office’s , a reinforced concrete residential project,  “presents her both a life space with a soft light and an interesting experience of scale unlikely in a house.”  Situated in an old Japanese city on a site 50 meters by 7.5 meters, the home has long slits that run along a 22 centimeter thick wall, making the interior space open, while providing enough privacy.

More about the home and more images after the break.

The slits allow natural light to activate strategic areas of the house during the course of the day.  Glass is placed right into the concrete, without frames, and the light streams that shine through make reference to Fusuma or the Shoji (sliding doors used to separate rooms), in Japanese traditional architecture.

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

“The slits make us more sensitive to light. The interior space is light beyond our expectations. Light through the slits varies its appearance momently according to weather, season and time. The slits remind us our old experience in memory with poetic scenery,” explained the architects.

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

The house is comprised of a long living room, that includes a central table for ten people, a bed room, and in the future, the home can be used as a guesthouse of the company clientele.  Wood partitions wall are movable and can be reconfigured to support the home’s changing needs.  For instance, the walls can be adjusted to create guest bedrooms, or if all are removed, the space can be used as a conference hall.

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

The slits provide a tool for the architects to create “a silent ambiance just like in the midst of solitary jar and a poetic clearness as like in an endless spatiality. The slits hold the promise of an innovative design method of architecture.”

As seen on Yatzer.

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura

Project: Slit house
Architects :
Eastern Design Office
Client:  NIWAKA, INC.
Site Area: 318 square meters
Building Area: 210 square meters
Total Floor Area: 210 square meters
Structure: Reinforced Concrete
Levels: At ground level
Materials used: Concrete, Glass, Timber, Hemp carpet


Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Slit House / EASTERN Design Office" 12 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • S

    a nice corridor. rather a church like.

  • http:/ breeree

    I love the idea of a project made for an 80-year old woman! Interesting design.

  • dA

    absolutely sublime.
    she must be quite a woman.

  • Dustin

    rock on granny!

  • Andrew Geber

    all right!

    now this is a place :)
    here this would NEVER be allowed by the authorities :(

  • sfb

    this project is released in Architecture Now 4! it’s a few years old, but still looking good. very beautiful concrete walls and the rooms with an ascetic touch. nice!

  • Jeison

    cold and depressive as only japanese modern can be…

    • thomas

      Jeison… “cold and depressive as only Japanese modern can be…”
      Some people need splashes of colour on there walls because it is missing from their mind. Others prefer a sublime background for their more colourful thoughts. The Japanese as a nation have an inbuilt sense of strength and a philosophical outlook to life. They have no need for Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. ‘Cold and depressive’ says more about the critic than the creator.

  • urko

    the semi-circular end of the courtyard is a perfect place for little dead girl to appear all of sudden

  • I.P Freely

    Japan has an astronomical suicide rate. They DO have an inner sense of strength. By western standards, “cold and depressive” is correct”, but not by eastern standards. To combat suicide a host of bars have dramatically increased since the ’90s in Japan to help cope with the econimcal downfall. It really is a matter of philosophical viewpoint. So, no bickering!

    • fgran

      it’s an old lady living in the house so we clearly don’t have to bring suicide rate into this. she’s clearly committed to her own life

  • JP

    I would be scared to go through these corridors at night…

  • Hellyess

    ‘cool’ idea.. but i’d hate to live there

  • gaijin

    very impressive house. many phylosophy in this house creation. quiet, intelligent and a bit introvertic house. nice Idea.

    With big Respect to these Architects and for the Lady.

  • aston79

    nice house!!! i should marry her….

  • Arno M

    Slit House / EASTERN Design Office More sculpture than house, but still nice. #architecture

  • tomnguyen

    japanese style. love it

  • aufi

    would it be better to construct more garden-like interior and exterior,which to me is much more suitable for 80 year old lady,unlike concrete which give cold and shiver feeling to it

  • Wargo

    Good idea, so what about the mean of egress?

  • Ivan Costa

    RT @reclaimedwood: RT @archdaily: Slit House / EASTERN Design Office

  • Ted

    Seems convinience for steeling a Laptop…

  • 179

    just like dreaming… it`s really goooooooood job

  • syd088

    I love exposed concrete and respect minimalism but the idea of the slots has trumped the reality, what it is to really live or experience that building day to day. The reality is that the spaces are cold and depressing and you are supposed to be amazing by the thin slot of light coming in?

  • proty

    I like the light!

  • Mairin Donnelly

    this house reminds me of W.Benjamin Memorial. Not influenced, but int'd that same aesthetic found in diff time & place

  • Pingback: Links do Dia#31 « Reader com Café.

  • Joel Linn

    RT @archdaily: Slit House / EASTERN Design Office

  • Pingback: Slit House: casa con MUROS de hormigón visto llenos de rajas verticales

  • Jk

    Is it really good design? putting old woman in the tomb like concrete box????

  • Justina

    A house is designed for an 80 year old woman by EASTERN Design Office, Japan. #architecture