House of Spread / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

© Takumi Ota

Architects: FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Location: Shiga,
Client: Private
Site Area: 707,21 sqm
Constructed Area: 152,33 sqm
Construction Year: 2010
Photographs: Takumi Ota

This is the house for a couple aged 30-something.

When I began to design the house, the client requested that the living room should be connected to a Japanese room, and that a Buddhist altar be appointed in the Japanese room.

floor plan

These two requests strongly reminded me of the “Japanese” space, which has become a starting point to make the entire concept of the architecture and to design this house.

To make good use of benefit of the spacious site, we planned a one-storied building that surrounds a courtyard. For a Japanese-style space in which to appreciate the garden, the flat building reflects aesthetic values of the Japanese.

© Takumi Ota

We avoided the living room and Japanese room from being faced with the courtyard, which only allows indirect light to reach these rooms. The spaces therefore become dim, imparting “Japanese” taste.

This also produces expectation for the sunlit courtyard. You can feel brightness of the courtyard only when you get to the dining room beyond the living room.

© Takumi Ota

In contrast, the dining room, bed rooms, and bath room are faced with the courtyard, taking in plenty of sunlight.

The courtyard, which looks like abstraction of the Japanese garden, features the carefully positioned natural rock and the tower that rises vertically from the exterior wall.

These two elements are intended to gather the line of sight of people in the room, and thus to keep their attention away from the mundane landscape expanding outside the architecture.

© Takumi Ota

For this house, the relation between the courtyard and each room has been carefully considered to determine the position.

The flow lines from the courtyard spread the “Japanese” spaces around the architecture that involves various feelings inside.

Cite: "House of Spread / FORM | Kouichi Kimura" 22 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    As ever I really like the work of Mr. Kimura’s studio. I do have to say that some of the exterior detailing (particularly ventilators and what not) seem slightly less finished than they do in other of the studio’s projects. However, the main goal, of relating the building to the abstract tension of the courtyard seems very successful.

    Also, I am very intrigued by the play of textures. In particular the texture of the ceilings against the smooth walls and the board & batten oak in the living area feels very successful to me.

  • kimbo

    in praise of shadows… a natural progression from the young family house of integration.

  • Ricardo

    This studio has the most interesting interiors that i’ve seen. Every room seems so…home!