House in Koamicho / Suppose Design Office

© Toshiyuki Yano / Nacasa & Partners

Architects: Suppose design office
Location: Koamicho, Hiroshima,
Site Area: 102.86 sqm
Building Area: 62.80 sqm
Total Floor Area: 121.97 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano

When we normally feel “interior” or “exterior”, what are the causes?

And what are the causes of feeling “open” or “narrow”?

© Toshiyuki Yano / Nacasa & Partners
first floor plan

This is house designed with much thought to how, from those root causes, we define the conditions of a space. In a long, narrow space, we constructed walls, and by laying out a space in which we experience many rooms, we turn “narrowness” into “openness. “Further, taking rooms and gardens as equivalent, we created spaces that are like the exteriors, calling them “garden rooms”.

© Toshiyuki Yano / Nacasa & Partners

By moving from room to another room, we can alternately experience interior and exterior, and they become the place where every rooms are connected to the exterior. Here we have succeeded in realizing a space, which pass traditional definitions to materialized a new relationship between – interior and exterior.

Cite: "House in Koamicho / Suppose Design Office" 17 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The progression of spaces is an awkward sequence, but I really like the ambiguity of the interior/exterior rooms. It’s hard to determine which rooms are open-air even in the photographs. Seems like the interior/exterior space concept also leads to some pretty successful light play! Interesting project…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Well, you have to hand it to them. This is a rigorous pursuit of a concept. I think there is a lot to be said for such dogged determination.
    I’m not saying the concept is right or wrong, but they have taken the idea and worked it to the nth degree.
    It is fastidious and precise.
    It’s pretty damn amazing.

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      And needs a little ivy on the very outside. I know that’s a very un-Japanese thing.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love the concept but I wouldn´t live in there, the lack of privacy, not even in the bathroom (you can see the toilet from the kitchen) is not very comfortable, well maybe is for the family of the future. But the sequence of spaces, the “open” spaces between the concrete boxes, the simplicity of the layout, and the minimal decoration, makes this house a lovely and really interesting place.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Speaking as an American, it’s always interesting to see small, Japanese homes. They have such a different idea of personal, private space… specifically with regard to parent/child bedrooms – both location and in relation to circulation. This is not the first Japanese house I’ve seen where the apparent circulation path basically IS a secondary bedroom – weird… at least from my perspective. I suppose this reflects a different attitude culturally as well as perhaps a consequence of building such small homes. If it works for the client.

    The interior/exterior spaces are excellent as well as the placement of openings through the boxes. The light inside the house is amazing. I like the living spaces on the upper floors for the light with the bedrooms below.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I consider myself as a normal thinking person and I think that representing project is not the architecture. In my opinion the building is the experimental sculpture and it’s in the same category as caves and other shelters. I have seen many but they are deserted long ago.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Really loved it at first sight, but I think I have to agree with some of the previous comments, practicallity doesn’t really seem to be on the agenda.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’m interested on what a Japanese would say about this project, in particular on these aspects:

    1- no interior doors
    2- if you want to go to the main bedroom you have to pass through the kids rooms.
    3- there is a WC in a corner of the main bedroom
    4- a half of the main bed is outside the exterior wall :-)

    i really like the way they mixed interior, semi-interior and exterior spaces

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Very nice outside, nice but too modest inside.

    Some colour and green plants inside, PLEASSSSE!

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is a damn depressing house… I get the inside-outside thing and it really could work, but alltogether the atmosphere is much too cold. It has something of a prison.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The play of light and dark among the spaces is good. But, I think the rooms are too dark since there’s no direct natural light coming in. Also, it’s too cold. The only color I saw was the pale color of the wood flooring in the living room.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it’s cold because there’s no insulation.

    fantastic project but rahter on the side of art then on the side of mass appeal and usability. only if its inhabited by a single person / or a pair this will work more or less within usual conventions.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is incredibly bad. The plan makes absolutely no sense. I cannot take projects like this seriously.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      you took the words right out of my mouth.

      As a concept, fine it could go somewhere, as a house… shameful, I bet anyone healthy would like to live there, when it comes to comfort, we should be just a little bit more… conventional.

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        Mr. Eh?

        I find it ridiculous to have to walk through both children’s bedrooms to get to the master. And other than that I’ve seen more thoughtful detailing in the public concrete bathrooms on the boardwalk.

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      There are not any doors, noices, smells, windows, cold, warm, food, there is not live, people. This is awfull.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is what i can say. they have put it to the next level. You people don’t get. When they need privacy there is Privacy. The circulation then goes up vertically and moves through the common space above and then down to any of the bedroom you want to. And in day time you can pass thorough horizontally as as you draw an architectural cross section. The Circulation and privacy aspects has been well thought off. And the merger of outside and inside has been interpreted in a new but feasible fashion.
    Great Design!
    Congratulation both to SDO and Archdaily.
    Long live SDO

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      there are stairs just in the first outer space, near the entrance. so, if you want to go to the main bedroom, you have to pass through the kids rooms.
      ecxept for this problem, i agree with you.

      yes, it seems like azuma house but the spaces and the circulation are much more complex and developped

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    In my opinion this would be more useful as an office. The lack of privacy wouldn’t hurt so much that way.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I really like the concept and execution


    Most of the firm’s projects makes use of concrete in a way that
    makes the houses feel and look like a tomb. Seriously, please start making houses for the living. In this way, it is rather immature…and it’s not even cool and original anymore.

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Very inspiring plan (i agree with Subair: long live SDO!), but the final result is in some way disappointing: not their best work so far.

  17. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I would never live there. this is so sad, so cold, so meaningless. some architects want it “brutal”: they should learn from Le Corbu’s convent of la tourette, where the nude concrete is used in order to “compose” spaces, and let the colours and the light being the main actors!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      have you ever been to la tourette?
      i don’t know, i think your comparison is improper since that is a monastery. after this, i think la tourette is one of the sadest building i’ve ever seen. the only thing that saves it is the wonderful countryside that surrounds it.

  18. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    very concptual and very cold house (and dark). I like it, but this house looks a bit like bunker/hopper.

  19. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love it, but only for work. I could not imagine to sleep in it. On my trip through Japan i saw a lot of these wonderful little design houses.

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