House Shimouma / Kazuya Saito Architects

© Sadao Hotta

Architect: Kazuya Saito Architects
Location: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo,
Structural Design: Konishi Structural Engineers
Site Area: 49.41 sqm
Building Area: 36.85 sqm
Total Foor Area: 109.67 sqm
Project Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: Sadao Hotta


The site is a long and narrow lot, located in a dense residential area in Tokyo with its north side facing the residential area. The clients are a working mother and her son who has many things to store. The surrounding environment has different personalities, increasing in many aspects, so we decided to continue with this guide elements.

© Sadao Hotta
floor plans

They needed a secure parking and wanted a defined number of rooms so automatically the house became a three-storey building. We used wooden structure and dark brown for the exterior, as we were limited with a very tight budget.

© Sadao Hotta

Rooms are situated on the first and third floor, the middle one was left as one big space, and we designed a terrace in the roof, as the narrow site didn’t allowed us to have a courtyard on the ground floor.

Cite: "House Shimouma / Kazuya Saito Architects" 05 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Chiaro Scuro

    -Ok, we are Japanese and need to design a detached house.
    -Let’s start with a site extrusion. Maybe we can alter the form. Maybe.
    -Now we need openings. This is going to make the project.
    I suggest that we just 2-3 openings per facade, avoiding symmetry at all costs.

    Great. Now we have a Japanese house!

    Other examples:

    Cure Salon Monsieur / Upsetters Architects
    House in Matsubara / Ken’ichi Otani Architects
    Usuki House / Tonoma

    ** I’m not completely knocking them. This is a fine project, but this common aesthetic of an austere form, with one or two punched openings per facade is typical. Very typical.

    • tDA

      you forgot the all-white interiors…

  • Gpanderson

    Uh, you can not use articles in your description of the project. No the, a, it, etc.
    What exactly do you want to see out of your house?
    The surrounding are perfectly hideous.
    Neighbour look in? No, we can not have.
    Lack of colour and simple facade with a minimum of openings contributes to harmony.
    Do not disturb the wa.