naoko horibe architect’s office: adzuki naoko horibe architect’s office: adzuki
jul 18, 2011

naoko horibe architect’s office: adzuki

‘adzuki’ by naoko horibe architect’s office in himeji-shi, hyogo, japan all images courtesy of naoko horibe architect’s office




japanese practice naoko horibe architect’s office has sent us images of ‘adzuki’, a small three-storey private residence for a single family in himeji-shi, hyogo, japan. situated on a plot measuring a little over 80 m2, the exceptionally compact design seeks to establish an open sense of space by carefully arranging rooms around an interior courtyard.



exterior view


situated on a corner of an intersection, the house is bound on three sides by roads. a space for outdoor parking is created by stepping back the structure from the east side of the plot line. wrapped in a skin of galvanized steel panels finished in a dark burgundy shade, he simple volume exhibits a closed face to the street, save for a series of large, elevated windows that give glimpses of the courtyard within. this space features a contrasting white finish which lends the design an added sense of depth.






placed mid-depth into the layout is a slim courtyard that extends the height of the three-storey house. upon entry, it is the main focal point of the space with sliding glass doors drawing natural daylight into the interior. the major communal programs such as the kitchen, dining and living rooms are placed on the second level and are arranged to directly look into the courtyard. the staircase is utilized as a spatial tool to define the different programs without the aid of full wall partitions. the floor slabs are also offset to create diversity in ceiling heights, extending the sense of space vertically for common rooms.


(left) entryway (right) courtyard


view of courtyard from the inside


view from living room


(left) outdoor balcony (right) view of courtyard under stairs




views of living space


view of courtyard and the street from dining space


courtyard at night


from entry


night view

floor plan / level 0 (1) entrance (2) master bedroom (3) washroom (4) bathroom (5) lavatory (6) terrace (7) courtyard (8) car parking space (9) bicycle parking space

floor plan / level +1 (10) dining & kitchen (11) living room (12) balcony

floor plan / level +2 (13) free space


project info:


principal use: residence structure: wooden construction storeys: three above grade site area: 83.60 m2 building area: 30.04 m2 total floor space: 73.55 m2

  • a very rich set of very livable spaces packaged up into such a tiny container

    but… look at all the wall acne in the 13th frame down – ick!

    dbkii says:
  • The design does a great job of framing views and hiding the misery of the landscape. Good work

    James says:
  • It was perfectly planned. Love the inner of the house so simple and very elegant.

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    Arab Construct says:

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