Clover House / Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates

© Courtesy of

Architects: Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates
Location: Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan
Principal in Charge: Katsuhiro Miyamoto
Project Team: Isamu Tamaishi
Collaborator: Masahiro Miyake / y+M design office
Structural Engineering: Masaichi Taguchi / TAPS
General Contractor: Kohatsu
Site Area: 117.44 sqm
Built Area: 46.95 sqm
Total Floor Area: 76.19 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Courtesy of Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates

A housing land development ground and the existing retaining wall were excavated to create space with double-height in the basement, and, in addition, a flat glass box was layered on the ground to accommodate the house space to dwell. It has been proved that excavate techniques enables spaces to be free-formed. A cloverleaf hall with 4.6 meters ceiling height is a common space for the family, and following this space, some laterally excavated spaces lies, which looks like Yaodong, Chinese traditional underground houses, and the each space functions as a private room for study and kitchen and bathroom.

floor plan

Three loft alcoves on the ground level are private bedrooms. It means that the relationship between the shape of three clusters in the basement and of bedrooms on the ground level in reversal as negatives and positives. Each bedroom relates to the exterior space. For example, loft-2 relaxes narrowness of the floor in hard numbers by projecting an adjacent retaining wall at the north side as a screen. Moreover, one can approach directly to their own bedrooms through the outside stairs.

© Courtesy of Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates

In structure, a matter of great interest is how to resist sliding caused by earth pressure of adjacent lots on the north and east side. Nine millimeters thickness iron plate is used as both a mold and finishing material. The mold is filled with cement so that resistance to the pressure is gravitationally solved.

paneling details
© Courtesy of Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates

The iron plate used for the finishing side was prefabricated dividing it into 16 blocks, and all of the joints were merged into each other to completely weld so that the plate itself wound be an effective water proved layer.

Cite: "Clover House / Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates" 16 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • INawe

    There is so much unusable space created by the meandering wall but I do love the “paper” thinness of the walls.

    • INawe

      I would love to see the roof details as well because its executed so beautifully.

      • Teo

        INawe you have the roof details right there, just click and enjoy.

  • shetu

    I don’t understand what is actually happening at the first floor. Though you tried to solve the lighting with some circular shaft, they look insufficient for that purpose. The enormous common space looks unusable as well. I liked the entry. Its a nice try I think. Keep it up and try to post details described in English. Thanx for sharing.

  • AV

    No wonder they don’t have handrails…. paper thin walls make impossible fixings. The acoustics obviously don’t bother them that much…

  • arnold

    it’s fantastic, that there’re so crazy people, who built such houses (architects) and who live here (clients). Very unusual and interesting Way of thinking.

    the structure of the house is very simple, but and the same – difficult (the difficulties I see in searching Idea of this house). well,.. the house isn’t very concept and nice, but he is intersting. and I thing it is important :-).

  • rodger

    only the japanese could build something so refined, elegantly simple, and horrendous at the same time. for most of us, this space is the epitome of an unlivable and claustrophobic space done with artistry.

    • c


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  • rsantosfernandes

    i like the main idea, but not for a house. it seems to me that
    they live in the mold for alvar aaltos´s savoy vase.