tato architects/yo shimada: house in rokko
original content
jun 25, 2012
tato architects/yo shimada: house in rokko

‘house in rokko’ by tato architects/yo shimada, kobe, japan
image © ken’ichi suzuki
all images courtesy of tato architects/yo shimada

positioned on mt. rokko, with commanding views overlooking kobe, japan, the ‘house in rokko’ by japanese architect yo shimada
of tato architects confirms an exploration of minimizing physical impacts upon the environment while maintaining vistas for residents.
the site’s location along the steep slope eliminated the possibility of using heavy machinery to drive piles. a 3.5 meter by 13.5 meter
plane is secured for the foundation, requiring manual digging from the nearby breast wall to hold back the earth’s soil. resting above the
concrete pad, the two-storey steel structure forms an open, glass-enclosed ground level and private upper level clad with metal panels.

the transparent entry area contains a living, dining area and kitchen along with a visitor’s toilet and bicycle storage for the owner.
the environment is fully enjoyed from this space, nearly eliminating the boundary between the indoors and outdoors. the setting is
ideal for entertaining guests and interacting with friends. an open-riser stairway with galvanized steel treads leads to the bedrooms
and washroom. the gabled ceiling expressed the exterior’s roof form, responding to the neighboring existing homes. wide openings
within the facade generate natural ventilation while a thermal storage system within the concrete slab works alongside a far-infrared
radiation film floor heating system.

view of the city from the residence
image © ken’ichi suzuki

glass-enclosed ground floor and private metal-clad upper level
image © ken’ichi suzuki

transparent ground level contains the active funciton sof the home
image © ken’ichi suzuki

image © ken’ichi suzuki

view through the transparent ground floor
image © ken’ichi suzuki

side view through the transparent ground floor
image © ken’ichi suzuki

stairs to the upper level with the dining area beyond
image © ken’ichi suzuki

stairs leading to the first floor
images © ken’ichi suzuki

(left) prismatic wall
(right) gabled ceiling expressed the exterior form
images © ken’ichi suzuki

view from the interior
image © ken’ichi suzuki

image © ken’ichi suzuki

(left) washroom along the western side of the plan
(right) bathtub
images © ken’ichi suzuki

cantilevered balcony
image © ken’ichi suzuki

view form balcony
image © ken’ichi suzuki

view of home within surrounding context
image © ken’ichi suzuki

image © ken’ichi suzuki

illuminated at night
image © ken’ichi suzuki

study model iterations

study model

study model

construction process

construction process

construction process

site plan

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1


exploded axonometric

project info:

project name: house in rokko
location of site: kobe japan
site area: 295.31m2
building area: 56.00m2
total floor area: 94.50m2
type of construction: steel
program: house&atelier
project by: tato architects
principal designer: yo shimada
design period: jan. 2010 – mar. 2011
construction period: aug. 2011 – nov. 2011

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