Minimalist House / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

© Courtesy of

Architects: Shinichi Ogawa & Associates / Urbanist Architect
Location: Okinawa,
Site area: 211.59 sqm
Building area: 102.22 sqm
Total floor area: 102.22 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

This building is a court house for a couple in Itoman-shi, Okinawa, Japan.

The house is built on a 3M grid module in all XYZ directions, while it is composed of 4 vertical plates as exterior walls and 1 horizontal plate as a roof slab. A functional layout is created by inserting a void of 3M x 18M which is the court for the house and wall-like furniture into the concrete structure space which dimensions are 3.0M (3×1) high by 9.0M (3×3) wide and by 18.0M (3×6) long.

© Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The space composition is characterized by the division of the house into two areas by a like-wall furniture.

The first area is composed of the living room, dining room, and bedroom as an interior space connecting with the exterior court in a linear arrangement, while the other space is composed of the kitchen, powder room, and study room in a succession.

floor plan

The shower room, toilet, small court, and various storages are laid out in this wall-like unit, which also incorporates the services ; all spaces combined together create a lifestyle that minimize the division of the space as much as possible.

With regards of the natural light of Okinawa’s climate, the internal space connecting with the outside is designed with eaves in order to control the amount of direct sunlight coming inside the house.

© Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The exterior wall is designed to facilitate maintenance by applying photocatalyst paint.

The functional counter unit incorporating the kitchen, powder room, and study room is made of integrally a solid surface “DuPont Corian”.
Consequently, this house is creating a habitation space that invites to a minimal and a flexible and various lifestyle.

Cite: "Minimalist House / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates" 30 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    How come people never tire of this ?

    I think somebody needs to write “Minimalismus und Verbrechen” or maybe Koolhaas did already and nobody listened ?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Because Minimalism exposes all basic architectural elements without any sign of ‘overly designed shapes’. The base of architecture is never boring, since its our profession.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +1

        No, Minimalism is just as much of a design ideology as any other. It is ridiculously overused and therefore boring. Anything overused becomes boring, no matter how ingenious at first.

        Also, there’s no one base of architecture, because the base depends on the ideology you approach it with. For example the base of classical architecture isn’t the basic shapes, but the orders.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    That would be just awful to live in.
    This environment would get so boring and depressing just because there is no view to the outside (well 3m before it’s blocked by a white wall..) and therefor no stimulation form outside your white walls.

    Not to mention what it does for it’s environment, who would ever want a big white block in their street?

    • Thumb up Thumb down -2

      Air Jinx, I understand why you wouldnt want a “white box” in your neighborhood, but have you seen most of the dwellings in Japan? They’re mostly horrible, this is a palace (both in form and size) compared to most in Japan.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      Minimalism is not for anybody. Not too many people can understand the philosophy behind the concept.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    as the concept it is the best one, but… you should have special one kind of mind to live there… great imagination to see landscape behind white wall…

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is an amazing to look at and admire, but I would imagine it would be impossible to live in unless you were a robot.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    i would love to see a project of post-minimalism…expressing the reality of human inhabitance rather than that of an idealistic human existence. The project could express a minimalist building in a state of deconstruction, with a fragmented plan invaded by creepers, trees and ground covers (organic rather than contrived)…this would be closer to wabi-sabi than vacant space…

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    In an artistic manner, this is beautiful, even the concept of it is quite interesting. However, once reality comes in, I think this sheds a light to one of the reasons Mount-Fuji hosts so many suicides weekly.

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