naoko horibe architect’s office: house in kyobate
naoko horibe architect’s office: house in kyobate naoko horibe architect’s office: house in kyobate
jun 13, 2012

naoko horibe architect’s office: house in kyobate

‘house in kyobate’ by naoko horibe architect’s office, nara-shi, japan image © eiji tomita all images courtesy of naoko horibe architect’s office




tokyo-based practice naoko horibe architect’s office have recently completed the ‘house in kyobate’ for a couple and their two children in nara-shi, japan. a wooden cube is extracted from the corner of the neutral two-storey elevation, cantilevering above the perimeter plantings and forecourt. addressing the street, the windowless facade and extracted volume alludes to the programmatic hierarchy within the interior of the home. a japanese tatami room is contained within the box, featuring a partial enclosure with an open corner to act as a mezzanine. placed at the vertical midpoint of the structure, inhabitants are offered a vantage point to oversee the activity occurring within the upper and lower levels.

windows within the internal partitions create opportunities for cross-communication through the full-height atrium from the combined living, dining and kitchen to the first floor bedrooms. aerial views of the central area are framed through intermittent bands of windows, experienced as dwellers climb a stair which wraps the perimeter wall.



(left) view from the street (right) patio images © eiji tomita


entry image © eiji tomita


view of the living area from the dining area image © eiji tomita


view from the kitchen image © eiji tomita


mezzanine tatami room is positioned halfway within the double-storey vertical space images © eiji tomita


stairway image © eiji tomita


view of entry from stairway image © eiji tomita


(left) tatami room (right) view into the tatami room through open interior from the upper level bedroom images © eiji tomita


tatami room image © eiji tomita


(left) stairs to bedrooms (right) view from stairway images © eiji tomita


master bedroom image © eiji tomita


view from master bedroom image © eiji tomita


(left) communication between the different levels through the continuous interior (right) dwellers may lounge at the different platforms and levels images © eiji tomita


floor plan / level 0 1. entrance 2. shoe closet 3. living room + dining room 4. kitchen 5. lavatory 6. washroom 7. bathroom 8. drying place 9. parking space

floor plan / level 1 10. tatami room 11. children’s bedroom 12. master bedroom

section 2. shoe closet 3. living room + dining room 4. kitchen 6. washroom 9. tatami room

10. children’s bedroom

11. master bedroom


project info:


design to completion: march 2011-august 2011 location: nara-shi, nara primary usage: residence structure: wooden construction, two stories above ground site area: 165.34 m2 building area: 52.17 m2 total floor space: 93.58 m2 architect: naoko horibe photographer: eiji tomita

  • Very nice balance between white and wood 🙂

    bent-erik Munch, says:
  • For some reason the handrails are my favorite part of this beautiful home. Very simple 2×4 graphic wooden element.

    faf says:
  • another wood and white box from Japan. is there architecture going on
    anywhere else in the world?

    ajr says:
  • Wonderful. Thank you.

    MaryRoehmClayworks says:
  • yes really becomes boring…again white + wood…but ofcourse good spatial diversity.

    Karlis M says:
  • i guess wood replace tatami panels that is why you see a lot of wood in japanese houses, is a matter of climatization, you need to travel to japan to see how japanese people lived and realized that wood floor, white walls and spaces surrounded by shelves is all they need.
    Ps. sorry my englis is poor

    Narok says:

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