House of Reticence / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

© Takumi Ota

Architects: FORM | Kouichi Kimura Architects
Location: Shiga,
Site Area: 164.29 sqm
Constructed Area: 135.59 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Takumi Ota

This house is built on the triangle site with a width of 18 m.

The client has requested to make the best use of the characteristic site form to build a house with both privacy protection and a sense of openness in the house.

ground floor plan

The building is composed of the echelon volume successive along the site form, and the high wall.

The landscape-oriented façade, which is one of the external features and brought about by making good use of the site width, allows people’s line of sight to be introduced in the horizontal direction.

© Takumi Ota

The interior space design also takes advantage of the site width.

On the first floor the entrance hall is located at the center. On its both ends are the spot gardens that are allocated in the spaces separated by the Japanese room on the irregular site form.

© Takumi Ota

As the line of sight is designed to be as long as possible, the internal space is visually expanded so as to realize the space that gives an open feeling.

On the second floor the living room and the balcony are laid out on both ends. In addition, the ceiling of the living room is designed to be higher than that of the other rooms. These designs intensify visual expansion.

© Takumi Ota

The opening at the upper side of the living room, as well as the glass wall on the balcony where a bench is furnished, is one of the elements that produce a sense of openness.

By considering the site form to select the locations for the openings and control the line of sight, this house realizes the spaces that give a sense of openness but are closed off to the periphery.

Cite: "House of Reticence / FORM | Kouichi Kimura" 01 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Congratulations…:) This child will have good teast in future…:)

  • eili

    eventhough i like minimalistic arch, these cold copy-pasted japanese houses start to bore me more and more..

    • Thomas

      People who say they get bored by good architecture are really boring. If you need to look at something new and trendy all the time, and cant appreciate design that can – and should – stand the test of time, you probably would be better of visiting sites about mobile phones, mp3 players, televisions and other consumer products.

      • eili

        i´m wondering about your judgement – you dont even know my level of interest in architecture ( archdaily´s not the only site im following) and say that i shd look at mp3players?
        that such a lame comment, boy.
        i dont need something trendy as i really like old achitecture of which we have a lot here in germany .. buldings which are over a hundred years old and still so wonderful.
        this japanese architecture is , to me, emulating this trend calld minimalism – with uncomfy , dark rooms, low ceilings, etc..
        just look at all them japanese projects shown on archdaily – dont they fit in these aspects i was talking about?
        if not – get some good glasses , man !!

      • CJCM

        I can see eili’s point, but not only with japanese houses. For the past twenty or thirty years there has not been any building that is radically unique in form.
        Every single new building out there is just a variation of an existing, style, movement, material and tecnique.
        From now on, architecture can only evolve in the digital-virtual information realm…so yes, if we want to see innovation we will have better luck looking at electronics catalogs and new media.

      • Damien

        I think the first concern an architect should have is how to make good liveable, honest, and respectful architecture, therefore one needs to understand history and why certain forms and typologies tend to be repeated. Afterwards you’ll realize that anything comes from nothing, every sigle thing you know comes from a previous example or idea. So in order to be able to innovate you need to understand the previous editions of your idea to MODIFY or to IMPROVE them. Nor architects, engeneers or inventors can create something from nothing. Every idea has a backround. So instead of judging how innovative a building is one should try to analyse it and make up your own conclusions of functionality, materiality, relation with its environment and culture, and theeeeen how innovative the building is. Probably you’ll end up seeing innovative aspects enclosed in repetitive forms and innovative forms with no innovative aspects in them.

  • Mic

    Really nice, subtle spaces inside. It’s what architecture is all about. Love the subtle changes in levels, and play on depth to move the user physically.

    A bit disappointed with the outside – too autonomous for my taste. Shame the hypotenuse side of the site is concealed by the tight space and neighbours.

  • architect

    even though they always use similar materials and have very small spaces to build in, i am amazed with contemporary japanese architects and the houses they come up with.

    there is always something surprising and original revealing itself.

  • C

    I like the way they open the low window to the small garden.
    What I always wander and amaze is the way of japanese architects deciding the room order. Most of architect will put their bedrooms (private) on 2nd flr; moreover the toilet on the ground fl, they separate the toilet and the wash with stair. I think it has smthng to do with their way of living.


    Thoose corners in front of the wall ummm don`t know.
    the outcome still very nice.

  • me

    how can i have sections and elevations for this?

  • flavin

    is like a floating house in the world

  • Mariniuc

    I need to know the location of this house!! Can you help me??