ICU architects office: yo
ICU architects office: yo
jul 18, 2011

ICU architects office: yo

‘yo’ by ICU architects office in kanazawa city, japan all images courtesy ICU architects office image © kazuo fukunaga

tokyo-based practice ICU architects office (naoyuki nagata) has shared with us images of ‘yo’, a small private dwelling on a wooded site 30 minutes outside of kanazawa city, japan. heavily influenced by the lush quality of the immediate landscape, the design aims to create a space that captures the chromatic elements of the changing seasons.

ICU architects office: yo elevation image © kazuo fukunaga

with a built footprint of 86 m2, the project seeks to convey an expansive sense of space by projecting outwards and connecting each room with a different scenery. eight volumes divided into a 9m by 9m formation is manipulated and rearranged to achieve an ideal placement according to the function of the program. the resulting composition pays careful consideration to how the flow of the domestic circulation will move, dissolving physical partitions between individual spaces.

ICU architects office: yo (left) view of the exterior from inside (right) staircase images © kazuo fukunaga

standing as a blank slate, the majority of the house’s surface is finished in concrete with glass and stainless steel panels. the panels are perforated by a digitalized photo-image, amplifying the effects of light and colours from the landscape.

ICU architects office: yo glazing image © kazuo fukunaga

ICU architects office: yo images © kazuo fukunaga

ICU architects office: yo image © kazuo fukunaga

ICU architects office: yo images © kazuo fukunaga

ICU architects office: yo

ICU architects office: yo within context image © kazuo fukunaga

ICU architects office: yo schematic models

ICU architects office: yo site map

ICU architects office: yo floor plan (1) room A (2) room B (3) kitchen (4) dining (5) living (6) terrace (7) inner court (8) water section

ICU architects office: yo section

project info:

principal-in-charge: naoyuki nagata project team: eri murata, hiroco kakei consultants: TAPS – masaichi taguchi (structural) general contractor: nagasaka gumi structural system: concrete

site area: 762.82 m2 built area: 86.05 m2 total floor area: 76.35 m2

  • cold

    Korby says:
  • cold as ice

    spe says:
  • the photography doesn’t help

    dbkii says:
  • Nice siting of a very interesting planning configuration— of course the house would seem cold without warm furnishing–typical poofter comments

    www.illem says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(2 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
504,066 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine