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House I by Yoshichika Takagi

By Eric Meunier


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Japanese architectural studio Yoshichika Takagi has completed the House I located in Akita City, Japan.

Composed of a series of open and closed boxes, the 1,076 square-foot single family residence sits in the midst of a parking lot surrounded by large commercial buildings.

House I by Yoshichika Takagi:

“This is a small residential house in Akita Prefecture.

The site is in the centre of Akita City where urban functions are situated. Despite its urban location, this is a special place as it is surrounded by car parks. Considering that the space is exposed to public eyes in all four directions, it is essential to sustain the elements of privacy, but at the same time, our aim is to drop frontality from its façade.

In order to keep privacy, it is sensible to keep the rooms within the enclosure, and it also helps with the indoor environment in the northern climate. However, enclosure would give a closed feeling, hence the task is to find a way to layout spaces that are closed enough to keep privacy and would also at the same time give an extensive feeling to the space outside.

First, we made a list of facilities that would require enclosure; kitchen, bathroom, toilet, bedroom and storage room, all of which would be enclosed in box-shaped spaces. A collection of these spaces are gathered like pleats, which create many gap areas in various sizes. This complex structure of these gap spaces gives depth to the whole place as well as an illusion that there is more space beyond what is visible. The frames installed in the walls of the boxes overlap with one another, and the whole place looks like a combination of facing mirrors depicting different sceneries.

We designed this house on simple rules based on 2 factors: rooms that need to be enclosed should be kept in boxes and rooms that do not need to be enclosed are in the gaps between boxes. By applying these rules, the space is presented with a complex structure that gives a feeling of extensive space.”

Photos by: Toshiyuki Yano
Via architecturelab

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About Eric Meunier

Currently the Owner and Chief Executive of HODYO Design, Eric Meunier's expertise in the design industry spreads over 20 years. He was the driving force behind HomeDSGN's early success, founding this website in 2011. Today, he loves to channel his passion for design into remodeling houses and transforming interior spaces with his keen eye for detail and architectural finesse. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

2 thoughts on “House I by Yoshichika Takagi”

  1. The distortion of space by the cubic divisions is almost as dramatic as the distortion of the photographs!! (Look how wide the two wooden doors look in one photo compared to their actual size.) I suppose the wide angled lens (or whatever they used) is necessary to view more of the inside – but it creates a really false impression of the interior space.

    Having said that I’m a big fan of the adventurousness and inventiveness of Japanese architecture in general. The incongruity of this building in its environment perfectly sums up my overall impression of Japan!!


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