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  3. House in Kohoku / Torafu

House in Kohoku / Torafu

  • 01:00 - 22 September, 2011
House in Kohoku / Torafu
House in Kohoku / Torafu, © Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano +27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects

  • Building Site

    Yokohama Kanagawa
  • Structure

  • Site Area

    230 m2
  • Area

    67.35 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. Structure: RC
This site is located in a quiet residential region reclaimed on a hill of Yokohama. With neighboring houses lined very close together, this flag-shaped site meets a road at a verge of no more than 3 meters in width. Since the site is tilted to the north, and the neighboring house to the south is two-storied and built on a higher ground, at first it seemed almost impossible to let in light from the south, although the client, a married couple who has lived in this place for a long time, wanted a small but sunshiny house of one-story just as their child became independent from them.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

The roof which looks as if barnacled lets in light through the glass on the top of the tube-shaped windows that are set avoiding shades and eye gaze of the neighbors. On the inside of the house clearly appear the shapes of these tubes,and the arris of a kind of folded plate roof softly separate the whole residential space. The house being one-storied, we were able to form the roof with freedom. And taking advantage of the freedom, we aimed to make the exterior and the interior appear as two sides of the same object.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

Although the main living area is no larger than approximately 7.5 x 7.5 meters, we tried to give appropriate distance among the scenes of food, clothing and housing by moderately separating every space along the arris of the ceiling and by making the most of the height of the ceiling itself. High arris connect neighboring spaces, and low arris separate them into, for instance, a living room and a bedroom. Infixed at the space where the ceiling is highest is a wooden mass. Inside the mass are a kitchen, bathroom and sanitation facilities, while the top of the mass is used as a designing office for their son. The top of the mass, which is a lot like a loft, and other spaces are visually separated but family members presence can be felt when they are there.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

We decided that we used reinforced concrete, and we sought to use it most reasonably. By giving the roof a kind of folded plate roof structure, we were able to fulfill the pillar-less interior space. As opposed to the concrete substrate surface of the exterior, the walls and the ceiling are painted white and given a bright and homogenous finish. The floor and the built-in furniture are made of medium-density fiberboard and given a paint finish. In stark contrast to the white walls and ceiling, the furniture exists as if it has grown from the floor.
The roof not only lets in light and provides cover from rain but, on the inside, gives the space a moderate separation. The brightness and softness of light differs according to season and time of day, which changes the look of the place. The windows on the roof cut out the sky and constantly project the changes of the nature.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "House in Kohoku / Torafu" 22 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Mare Sheppard · July 18, 2012

Right now I am making an N level inspired by this building:

Tom Peeters · March 08, 2012

the interior makes me feel like living in a cel and the skylights only make that feeling stronger.
It's so introvert, makes me shiver,...there is absolutely no relation to the outside,...

sar · January 19, 2012

feeling of security....mayby because of its hard walls with tiny windows...but its great..:)

ACINTAarq · September 28, 2011

House in Kohoku / Torafu vía @archdaily

Annie Peyré · September 24, 2011

si vous souhaitez une nouvelle maison originale, en voilà une : #japon #maison

Nanako Hisamura · September 24, 2011

[B!] ??????????????? House in Kohoku / Torafu | Arch Daily

Kash · September 24, 2011

those little window openings are disastrous with the relation to the overall form and the way it meets the ground its not great either in my humble opinion.

Puuk Arquitectos · September 23, 2011

House in Kohoku / Torafu

Ignacio Arciniegas · September 23, 2011

viviendas japonesas mi adorado delirio...

Travel Writer · September 23, 2011

RT| House in Kohoku / Torafu:  © Daici AnoArchitects: Torafu Location: Tokyo, Japan Design year: 2007... @archdaily

André Amaral · September 23, 2011

House in Kohoku / Torafu | ArchDaily via @archdaily

TOM FLYNN · September 23, 2011

Crazy looking house. Great channeling of light #architecture #artdesign

Jason · September 23, 2011

It's a nice house but it reminds me of Mon Oncle. :)

Alan Flannery · September 23, 2011

Crazy looking house. Great channeling of light #architecture #artdesign

rainsea · September 23, 2011

House in Kohoku / Torafu #architecture

@ArchiStream · September 23, 2011

via @archdaily House in Kohoku / Torafu #Architecture

Archibuilt 2010 · September 23, 2011

Archi. Spotlight: House in Kohoku / Torafu:   Architects: Torafu Location: Tokyo, Japan Design year: 2007 Constr...

em · September 15, 2009

simple, clean, direct both exterior and interior. I could definitely live here.

missND · July 08, 2009

interior needs a better solution i guess...
why they needed to put the beds in the living room? =) i really couldnt get that but maybe the client wanted it that way...

the closeness of the walls that separates in-from-out is sharp. it's temple-like roof is ok. and all these make sense that made me think if client wanted to feel like a temple living in the house.
then it makes sense that, people who are gonna live in it, wont miss the garden view or wont care if beds are in the living room =) a different way of living...

s · June 26, 2009

don't worry, this house has got WHITE and LIGHT
Who said the interior design needs Colour far from white?
I agree that the fabric (inc.the curtain) is nonsense, though.

jvl!o · June 09, 2009

the interior design needs COLOR!

Durban · June 07, 2009

I think this house is a great synthesis of interesting space, dynamic form and light. It seems to be perfectly funtional too so what more can you ask? The exterior looks really out of place in the neighbourhood; but personally i love the interior space (as designed by the architect) unfortunately the furnishings and curtains ruin it.

HSXK · May 20, 2009

I like its form and light, but the internal can be more compact and beautiful, I think just need some more time to conceive it!

aufi · May 08, 2009

no circulation of air......if it place on a tropical climate sure become the oven house

M.C. · April 26, 2009

Once you live there, you will learn more.

Almeida · January 31, 2009

what da hell is that?! surreal.

Simone · January 20, 2009

Yeah i agree, nice skylights, but the gosh

benk · December 02, 2008

I think, for me this is merely a sculpture. It doesn't come up from the principle of "form follow function", except if the client doesn't worry of the sharp wall (or ceiling?) near their head. Anyway, It does not create "space", but only an unusual "form".

cexec · November 19, 2008

It wouldn't be nice return to that house after work or sth...

Hakeem · October 04, 2008

VP: Good point. But almost every urban house has the same problem with the restricted views.

web design company · October 03, 2008

The roof which looks as if barnacled lets in light through the glass on the top of the tube-shaped windows that are set avoiding shades and eye gaze of the neighbors.

vp · October 03, 2008

The views are always nice, but in this case the flag-shaped plot dictates that the only open views are towards the street. So I think taking natural light in through the openings in the roof is a great idea, since there are buildings close on the other three sides. The mass and shape is interesting also. Quite a playful and compact house.

Hakeem · October 03, 2008

I miss some views to the outside

David Basulto · October 03, 2008


I'm on the opposite side. I love that it's just white and full of light. Maybe that's why my apt. is all white with a few furniture on it.

Glenda · October 02, 2008

Very cold looking interior - no warmth, not inviting.

Virginia · October 02, 2008

I love the idea behind this house but I feel it lacks any organic form + happiness with so many straight lines. This appears to be the fashion at the moment.

sebastian · October 02, 2008

a form and spaces.

Ben Bradshaw · October 02, 2008

I agree the space is interesting, but the building seems somehow like a premise to an expansion on the theme? Or am I talking nonsense? One must also bare in mind the japanese lifestyle, and when viewed from this perspective I think the space is generally a success.

paj · October 02, 2008

indeed its interessting, but i never want to live there.

Calvin · October 02, 2008

i agree, but the lights seem like more of a design element then a spacial one

Scledon · October 02, 2008

Interesting Building. But the interior designer needs to find a new job.

David Basulto · October 02, 2008


Really? I find them very interesting. I love how light falls from the chimneys.

Calvin · October 02, 2008

interior is disappointing


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© Daici Ano

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