Sz House / Miyahara Architect Office

© Teruo Miyahara

Architect: Teruo Miyahara / Miyahara Architect Office
Location: Ibaraki,
Structural Engineer: Toyohito SHIBAMURA
Constructor: Toshikazu Onuma / Aoi Kensetsu Kougyou
Building area: 105.50 sqm
Project Year: 2007–2008
Construction Year: 2008–2009
Photographs: Teruo Miyahara

House Sz is a residence designed for a couple in their thirties.

The goal was to provide a living environment with a rich atmosphere that is open, inwards and out, through the implementation of two different courtyards.

floor plan

With four walls set at necessary intervals, the residence is divided into three major zones – private, public, and “plus alpha” zones –and each of these zones is segmented into individual spaces and functions using two courtyards and glass walls. The private zone is divided into the main bedroom, bathroom, courtyard, and hobby room, with the courtyard serving as a buffer to maintainprivacy. The public zone is comprised of the main room, courtyard, and garage, and extends across the front road to the foliage of the park. Here, the courtyard serves as an instrument to open the residence towards the surroundings. Meanwhile, the plus alpha zone through the centre of the residence, besides being the core circulation route that connects all the spaces, serves as a gallery with 30-metre wall space. The floor is laid with concrete slabs and coated with a glossy protective layer, giving the space a special ambience. It is as if it’s a mysterious cave that leads on and on, or a passage in Paris that guides people to new discoveries. Thus, we named this the “passage gallery.”

© Teruo Miyahara

Furthermore, the roofs of both the private and public zones slope down towards the inner courtyard, designed so that the rooms can enjoy as much sky as possible. In particular, for the view of the trees in the park to the west of the dining room and living room, the garage roof is careful designed so it is as thin and unobtrusive as possible to provide the best scenery.

© Teruo Miyahara

The maple tree in the courtyard will provide different colours for each season, adding to the residents’ pleasure. So does the residence itself give pleasure? I hope that it is able to provide nearly as much happiness as nature can bring.

Cite: "Sz House / Miyahara Architect Office" 28 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Overall, I like it, but the toilet being at the terminus of the hall and not a part of the master bath is odd. Although I am appreciative of the toilet not being out in the open. The reversed volumes are a nice touch.

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      I was living in Japan 15 years ago, (just for 14 months)I know that the bathroom concept is not the same that in my country. So, I like it, everything is in place. I love how the space , I mean all peace of space, is nice and useful. The design have spirit. Bonito

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      a bit outre!? no, a lot outre! this one is quite different – it’s next to the master bedroom (where it should be) and is not visible to anyone who walks into the home or is in the kitchen/eating/living area. the toilet here is separate and private, not exposed to the entire house.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    OK bLogHouse…
    … but when they are stamp collecting in the Hobby Room?…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Nothing wrong with that..
      To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld – watching your wife bathe while you are stamp collecting – good, seeing her sh.. while you are eating – bad, very bad…well, at least for the most people.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Its a beautiful house, but i think it’ll be much nicer with the main room wall was taken away so the space can then bleed into the passage gallery. that way you can view both courtyards while you’re in the main room and it’ll look more spacious.

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