be fun design + EANA: outdoors indoors be fun design + EANA: outdoors indoors
nov 14, 2011

be fun design + EANA: outdoors indoors

‘outdoors indoors’ by be-fun design + EANA in shinagawa, tokyo, japan all images courtesy be-fun design image © hiroyuki hirai

japanese architecture practice be-fun design (tsuyoshi shindo) has collaborated with kohei iwasaki and tota abe of EANA to design ‘outdoors indoors’, a small two-storey dwelling for a couple in shinagawa-ku, tokyo, japan. aiming to create a space that honestly reflected the clients’ activity-driven lifestyles, the design features a vertically-open communal area that is topped off by a rock-climbing cove.

within context image © hiroyuki hirai

situated on a residential plot measuring approximately 36 m2, the exterior form lends no views of the interior from the street level. the free-standing volume maintains the height and scale of the surrounding structures while contrasting the area’s palette with its white modern finish. the roof features a slightly smaller form that steps in from the perimeter to create strips of sky lights for the level below.

street elevation image © hiroyuki hirai

starting with a partially-sunken in ‘warehouse’ level, the layout revolves around a central bathroom which sits elevated on a storage unit. bands of void space above the staircase ensure natural sunlight to the lower levels of the house. arranged as one open space, the kitchen, living, and dining room are located on the second floor which opens up to a generous stretch of glazing and terrace. the rock climbing wall leads up to a subtly tapering form which hovers over the communal area. playful and contrasting in its presence, the hollowed volume connects to a small rooftop terrace which can be accessed by a climbing ladder.

from terrace image © hiroyuki hirai

(left) interior view of living room (right) panels of structural glass in floor images © hiroyuki hirai

from kitchen image © hiroyuki hirai

image © hiroyuki hirai

views of rock-climbing wall images © hiroyuki hirai

sky lights image © hiroyuki hirai

washroom image © hiroyuki hirai

stairway image © hiroyuki hirai

(left) ‘warehouse’ level (right) leading up to living/dining/kitchen images © hiroyuki hirai

view of ‘warehouse’ level from washroom image © hiroyuki hirai

front elevation at night image © hiroyuki hirai

image © hiroyuki hirai

3D model of exterior

interior render

floor plan / level 0 (1) doma (2) bathroom (3) storage room

floor plan / level +1 (4) living room (5) kitchen (6) engawa

floor plan / roof level

longitudinal section (1) doma (3) storage room (4) living room (6) engawa

cross section (2) bathroom (4) living room

structural diagram

project info:

site area: 68.25 m2 building surface: 36 m2 total floor surface: 72 m2 storeys: 2 structural material: wood

architects: tsuyoshi shindo / be-fun design + kohei iwasaki, tota abe /EANA structural design: kenji nawa construction: heiseikensetu

  • nice project, could please anyone explain to me why japanese bathrooms are transparent, is there any cultural background or is it kind of design fashion? Please I just want to understand why.

    myfezazi says:
  • hope some day i will find such open minded and forward thinking clients that would allow the exploration and experimentation of so fascinating programs.

    @myfezazi, not sure if its a cultural thing, but its relatively natural in japan for parents to bathe with their children, use public bath houses, etc. so their notion of “taking a bath” is definitely different from the west. Would love to know for sure myself though.

    Denns says:
  • thank you so much denns, but what about toileting? I mean you can see everything happening there. (would be fantastic the authors of this project could give also some comments on this)

    myfezazi says:
  • I’ve visited two projects in japan which similarly left the toilet and wash area open (without glass actually!) In both cases they had the equivalent of a shower curtain that could be pulled across when needed. Both of those were in 4-storey apartments with a tiny footprint, so I guess it is one way of making the spaces feel less claustraphobic.

    chris k says:
  • What a fun house! Japanese architecture will always fascinate me.

    mathematics says:
  • To myfezazi :

    I think the transparent bathroom only applies to this house….plausibly for design purpose. I mean, as far as i know, all humans instinctively wish not to be seen when they are having physiological business… regardless of their cultural background.

    Doromong says:
  • Hello everyone from Japan,
    Yes, it is just specially designed house to fascinate client, audience etc. if there is, it will be still closed area for parents or couple’s master room which is pretty much western style, hopefully no kids. We don’t have a culture of transparent bathroom in Japan. Onsen, hot springs is still nice, u would love it if once experienced. Still this is nice house!! Does it help?? Enjoy yr day.

    Yasu says:
  • totally awesome project~~
    wonder how much is the cost

    [email protected] says:

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