architecture lab: utsunomiya U architecture lab: utsunomiya U
nov 09, 2011

architecture lab: utsunomiya U

‘utsonomiya-U’ by architecture-lab in utsunomiya, tochigi, japan all images courtesy architecture-lab image © katsumi hirabayashi

japanese practice architecture-lab has shared with us images of ‘utsonomiya-U’, a two-storey private dwelling in tochigi, japan. putting at its centre a large double-height space, the design explores a new method of interior organization by leaving the domestic programs open and transparent to the rest of the house.

within context image © katsumi hirabayashi

taking up a square-shaped footprint on the site, the overall form of the residence is simple and unassuming with a pyramid hip roof form that references the surrounding buildings’ profiles. the exterior is wrapped in a metallic skin that lends the free-standing structure a modern aesthetic within the residential neighbourhood. sitting on the centre of the plot, a parking space and an outdoor garden is respectively accommodated to the east and west end.

doors leading to atelier image © katsumi hirabayashi

pivoting around a central structural column, the interior of the house opens up to a large void space that provides an atrium-like effect, establishing views between the first and second storey. the ground floor hosts the communal programs – kitchen, dining, living – as well as a japanese-style room and an atelier on the corners of the layout. the individual rooms on the level above is read as a sequence of space which is divided by partitions made out of OSB. devoid of walls around the atrium, the result of the interior is a highly open interpretation of a house that can be experienced like a sectional model.

interior view image © katsumi hirabayashi

from communal space image © katsumi hirabayashi

from second level image © katsumi hirabayashi

rooms furnished image © katsumi hirabayashi

(left) japanese style room (right) view from above images © katsumi hirabayashi

children’s room image © katsumi hirabayashi

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1


project info:

site area: 209.31 m2 built area: 67.08 m2 total floor area: 117.89 m2 construction: wooden

design team: architecture-lab / shigekazu takayasu

  • really dangerous..

    Lucar says:
  • Gosh ill definitely fall while sleeping

    NK says:
  • OSB contains lots of formaldehyde.

    Seoulish says:
  • Great for young children!

    ben crichton, melbourne says:
  • Kids live in this house? I know more then a few countries where the authorities would intervene and take away the children from the irresponsible parents.

    airborn says:
  • Dangerous and openly messy.

    Nana says:
  • The open interior lets the family’s way of life become the concept for the design putting their daily activity on display. It will also create close relationships between the family members. Kudos!

    BM says:
  • Quite obvious Health & Safety issue here. Apart from that I like the design……I’m just not sure how the kids will like the “open” bedrooms with non-existent privacy

    Jim says:

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