MON Factory/House / EASTERN Design Office

© Koichi Torimura

Architects: EASTERN Design Office + HOJO Structure Research Institute
Location: ,
Client: Morita MON factory
Site Area: 236.90 sqm
Total Floor Area: 259.78 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Koichi Torimura

The holes are lined up on a cross shape. The hole is made on the architecture like the perforated line. This architecture is “House with Crest”.

A light that penetrates into the architecture always moves and never stays. It is a symbolical spectacle. A light that goes through the hole is projected in a circle shape, moves unlimitedly, and never stays. Occasionally, it disappears, and it appears.

situation plan

The site is located in Gojo, Kyoto. It is in a block of the typical division of a traditional residential area in Kyoto. The site faces the busy street of 4m in width on the west side. The backside of the high-rise buildings of 45m line up on the east side of the site. The neighbor houses are closely built in the south and the north of the site.


We “lift the one-storied house to the sky” to create calm interior space. It is lifted to 3m in the sky. The space under that is lent as a parking lot.

© Koichi Torimura

The one-storied house lifted to the sky makes “two outside spaces placed among three inside spaces”. The wind and the light of nature gather from the sky into two outside void spaces. And that extends to three inside spaces.

The arrangement of the spaces from the street side to the back is in such an order as “inside – outside – inside – outside – inside”. This clear arrangement works mutually and intermediately to unify the whole architecture.

The street front space is the workshop for the crest making. The middle space is the living room. And the backspace is the bedroom. The gaps between those three spaces are designed as “void”.

© Koichi Torimura

People circulate around those two voids. Many circular holes are made for the place where people wander. The light passes through 26 holes which are lined up on a cross shape. We can see various scene of light and its sequence. People move beautifully with the movement of dramatic light.

The client is a traditional craftsman who puts the crest on Japanese traditional clothes. The merchant in the wholesale store brings here a lot of Japanese clothes to ask for the crest work. He goes up the staircase that has the wall with perforated cross line. The client puts the crest on the clothes and gives those back to him. He dashingly goes out to the town in the Kyoto to go back with those. The client’s daughter circulates with the light to prepare the crest work. The movement of the circular light brings a happiness of this house in.

© Koichi Torimura

The workshop area and the living area are separated and also connected. The client and his daughter have such living style. The crest making is a delicate work and also a business work. It is quiet, and also busy.

The drifting cloud is seen, and they finish working, and relax in the living room at the middle space. The reflected light becomes an infinite line of light and extends into the darkness of twilight on both side window of the living room. And the dark becomes deeper. In this one-storied house lifted to the sky a night goes on like that.

west elevation

Two street side walls overlap on “Mise (show/shop)” space from right and left as like the breast of the Kimono. The “breast” interior becomes the shop space. The circular holes made for a cross shape becomes a pattern that decorates the wall as a crest. The kind of the crest reaches 7000. Any complicated crest pattern is formed from circle.

Cite: "MON Factory/House / EASTERN Design Office" 05 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Dustin

    I love it, although I confused it for a church at first.

  • Architist

    I really love this idea, especially the round windows. It give the building a light face. But I am currious about the way it being use to form the ”cross”!!!?

  • A

    Japanese architects, please move forward. The same Tadao Ando bunkers over and over again.
    Who can be happy in these empty, cold and dark spaces. Not even the Japanese I guess. No wonder they have the highest suicide rate.

    • oscar

      Stay calm young lady… they’re japanese, it`s a different culture… take it easy.

      • A

        Sister, bare concrete is not representative of Japanese culture or lifestyle. Have you heard of Kengo Kuma?

      • deseleccionar

        The japanese culture is full of color!. its not so wrong to
        say that Tadao Ando is too much repeat. its the same with
        Frank Gehry… many architects repeat his style. But the
        high rate of suicide is not by the fault of this architecture.

    • Omikey

      I was about to say the same… I’ve been think the same for a long time. But this actually inspires me. I guess it because of the industrial thoughts and heaviness. And it does have the court yard. I like it. …but the question does remain, where’s the TV?

  • Andy

    Where does the TV go?

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: MON Factory/House.

  • arnold

    Yes, I saw it in Kyoto. This building is impresive, it looks like Tokyo modern architecture building. In Kyoto there’re so litle good, modern, innovative architecture. This building is pleasant excepsion, especialy if you estimate the whole surrounding (block, squere). In this block, this building was the only one who has modern, conceptual architectural decision.
    Respect to Architects.

    P.s.: these plastics chairs are terrible. Please, choose another option..

  • nori

    it is a good house, but nothing more. there are so many of those buidings and they are not worth to be published.

    rational and minimalistic architecture is nowadays just what selfunsure architects do. no character in their materialization and chosen details…, very boring!!

  • dav

    does anybody know what material they have used?

    • Andy


  • Amar

    Does anybody know any other examples of this type of live work (factory) house for a single craftsman?