Ultra minimal japan

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about ultra minimal japan

Project • By Takuro Yamamoto ArchitectsPrivate Houses

White Cave House

White Cave House is a massive lump engraved by a series of voids interconnected in the shape of a kinked tube. The connection of voids - we call it Cave - is the theme of this house. Internal rooms are designed to enjoy the minimum views of Cave characterized by its whiteness. At the same time, this concept is also the practical solution to realize a courtyard house in Kanazawa city known for heavy snow in Japan. The client’s original request was a white minimally-designed house with many external spaces, such as a large snow-proof approach to the entrance, a roofed garage for multiple cars, a terrace facing to the sky, and a courtyard. Though a roofed entrance and a garage are desirable for snowy place, it takes so many floor areas away... More

Project • By Mount Fuji Architects StudioHotels


The site locates on mountainside of Izu-san, where Pacific Ocean can be looked down on the south. The untouched wilderness, covered with deciduous broad-leaved trees such as cherry trees and Japanese oaks, gives little level ground. But we saw faint glimmer of architectural possibility along the ridge. The architecture would be used as villa for weekends. I didn’t want to just form the undulating landscape dotted with great trees as normal, nor design an elaborate architecture bowing down to the complex topography. What sprang to my mind is a blueprint for an architecture which is perfectly autonomous itself, at the same time seems to emerge as an underlying shape that the natural environment has been hiding. It’s abstraction of nature,... More

Project • By Furumoto Architect Assosiates co., ltd.Apartments

House with Shining Wall

"Windows are not necessary. I want a closed house." In addition to this unique request, a difficult situation was that the permissible building area was only approximately 13 tsubos (approximately 43m2). While not giving an impression that the house opens toward the outside by installing the least number of openings, our main subject was to provide a spacious chamber and create a richness of appearance in the house. We devised and utilized the three-dimensions of the building to meet the demand. That is, we clarified the role and pattern of each opening and related the openings to the cross-sectional development of the building. Cross-sectionaly the house consists of three cores: space for get-togethers, stairs, and kitchen and bathroom,... More

Project • By Frank la Rivière, Architects incCultural Centres


Nebuta-no-ie Warasse / molo + d/dt Arch + Frank la Rivière Architects inc A Home for the Nebuta Festival and its floats Text by Frank la Rivière (FRA inc) April 2011 In August, Nebuta Festival (origin 8th century) fever descends upon Aomori. Nebuta, created anew each year, take the form of huge (9 x 7 x 5.5 m) paper lantern like floats showing warriors from Japanese and Chinese history and myth in dramatic poses often showing battle scenes. Roughly 20 large Nebuta are paraded through the streets accompanied by drums, bamboo flutes and hordes of revelers in traditional attire, dancing and chanting. The Nebuta-no-ie Warasse is dedicated to all aspects of the Nebuta festival. Located in front of Aomori train station, there were the c... More

Project • By EASTERN Design OfficeCities

On the Corner

A castle where the boys and girls of the story of Michael Ende could be entering. It is a triangular building configured by the square elements! On the corner ------------- The site is a manufacturing area in Youkaichi City in Shiga Prefecture. There are many big factories in this town. A lot of immigrants from South America live here among the local people. This is a residential area as well an industrial area. It is also a popular drinking area where many bars and restaurants for such common people are scattered. There is a highway interchange nearby the town. The shape of the lot is a sharp triangle which is unusual for building a house. The site is a wedge-shaped flatiron lot which remained at a corner where two streets meet a... More

Project • By Tomohiro Hata Architect and AssociatesPrivate Houses

Complex house

Such as collective housing a small small room lined, housing such as tenement. Through the open to make a listen for the sunny south side, and connected to the checkered, small small room, each concept the space each such be regarded as a small house. I will continue to integrate blends in the lower level, and to share space in the family to overlap them. Family is also a small unit of social group most, in the modern sense of individuals are respected in a natural way in the home, making the house as collective housing small, Maybe the technique is valid for granted come to think of may. (2011 winning WAN House of the Year) More

Project • By UID ArchitectsPrivate Houses

Pit house

The house positions itself in Okayama Prefecture near Seto Inland Sea. The site is located on a terraced mountain hill that was developed as a residential land. The family is consisted of a married couple and a child. We considered a new way of architecture on the site condition, where views are open towards the north and the ground level is one meter higher than the road level. The relationship is as if the site’s natural environment and the architecture coexist at the same time. The architecture has become a part of the whole landscape of undivided environment, not simply thinking about connection to the surroundings from the cut off opening in walls. This time, we came up with a living form that accepts the outside environment such as... More

Project • By Studio VelocityPrivate Houses

Forest house in the city

With a plant for example, a seedling grows straight when it germinates without any context in the immediate environment. However, a seedling grows its stem and leaves by responding to its environment when it is surrounded by many kinds of plants. Plants consider how to grow the stems and leaves by judging their surrounding environment. We were interested in designing architecture that exhibits a similar quality. In this project, we carefully investigated the site and its surroundings, allowing these to shape one building. More

Project • By Hiroyuki Shinozaki ArchitectsPrivate Houses

House H

This is a house for young couple and their child, located in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture. Matsudo City has a background that has developed as a residential area on the outskirts of Tokyo from the 1960s. This new house was planned rebuilding of the house which was built at that time. We seemed to have been asked to build a house as a new symbol in this place by a young family with the hope of the future. So we proposed the house as living symbol by utilizing actually a big roof and structural parts in their daily life rather than just imaginative symbol. At first we placed a big roof in the site, and arranged the eight Y-shaped wooden frames in it. We planned to hook up second floors and loft floors to the frames at different level. Like a bun... More

Project • By Atelier Tekuto Co. Ltd.Private Houses

Boundary House

The site is situated in urbanization controlled area between residential area and farm land. It belongs to legally unbuildable zone but the client was allowed to build due to his vested rights of the land. The house stands on edge between economy-based urban development area and rural land. Our design proposes a dramatic shift from economy-based to ecology-based life style. We first envisioned living under tarp-like structure where one can fully feel nature and move freely between inside and outside. In order to integrate architecture and nature, we work with the concept of “blurring the boundary” by adopting the following design ideas. Firstly the plan becomes a maze-like composition where interior and exterior spaces are interwoven.... More

Project • By Tato ArchitectsPrivate Houses

House in Yamasaki

Looking for the stable climate in the room This is a house in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture for a couple and their two children. The construction site is a part of a place surrounded by mountains and the sky is overcast most of the days. I wanted to create light, stable indoor climate and came up with a plan of three sheds of house type arranged on a 1.8 m high, grey foundation platform. The level of the first floor was lowered by 760 mm below the ground to get firm basement, as the site was slant before the development, and to get more stable performance of the floor heating system of foundation heat condensing type utilizing the terrestrial heat. It was also expected that the whole site could be used like a garden as... More

Project • By K2-DESIGN Inc.Private Houses


Imabari City, located in northeast Ehime Prefecture, is connected to Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture by way of the Shimanami Kaido, an expressway that spans across six islands over the Seto Inland Sea. Imabari City is well-known for its picturesque sea view, called tatoubi, of the Setonaikai National Park. Due to the surrounding calm seas, Imabari has developed into one of the biggest industrial shipping ports in Japan, and is also famous for its towel industry. This private residence was built in downtown Imabari for a family of four. The property is elongated westward from a road on its east, with a spacious yard to the north along a waterway. A seven-story apartment building towers on the south side of the property. The concern... More

Project • By JAMPrivate Houses

K Residence

The site is located in the island of Hiroshima, Japan. Three sides of the site face the calm environment of Setonaikai Sea. The building is weekend house for 4-person family. The plan has the outline of 4 squares with rotated by a unit of 3 degrees. Its plan leaves the outline which the square from which four sizes differ rotated by a unit of 3 degrees. Each outline is articulated by elements as mass, void, sanitary space, and furniture. Nested space composition diffuses the gradation of space from a central courtyard - 7.5mx7.5m, and makes the rich continuity in the simple rectangle spaces. Furthermore, a courtyard is extended to the upper private space and developed to the terrace of the north side. By operating with few angl... More

Project • By Tsukano Architect OfficePrivate Houses


This scheme has been planned for the downtown in Miyazaki, loca ted in Southern Japan. The road in front is so busy and noisy, and there are tall buildings for residence at the south. Considering all these factors, I came up with a brilliant idea to harmonize with the circumstances having a piece of white plate wrap the whole home space. With the white plate, the house can get separated from outer crowdedness, whil e sun light is allowed to come into the courtyard, which makes inner space warm and brighter. More

Project • By Hironaka Ogawa and AssociatesHospitals

Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic

This is a dental clinic accompanied with a housing project. The conditions required were: to make the clinic and housing into one building, to create three individual treatment rooms and a couple of rooms that are able to alter into treatment rooms in the future for the clinic, and to provide the treatment area wide spread feelings while keeping its privacy. For the housing section, the client wanted to have a pleasant view of the sky. Other than these conditions, locating openings also needed particular attention in order to maintain enough natural lighting levels in the building; the site suffers from strong winter wind and is famous for the hottest temperature record in Japan during the summer. First of all, I made a rule to cre... More