keiichi hayashi architect: lightwell house
keiichi hayashi architect: lightwell house keiichi hayashi architect: lightwell house
may 23, 2011

keiichi hayashi architect: lightwell house

‘lightwell house’ by keiichi hayashi architect in kyoto, japan all images courtesy keiichi hayashi architect photographer: yoshiyuki hirai

‘lightwell house’ by japanese architect keiichi hayashi is a two-storey private dwelling in a dense residential neighbourhood of kyoto. located on a sunken site that is cornered by retaining walls to the north and east, the design seeks to create a light-filled living space while still keeping with the local bylaws on height and floor area restrictions.

upper level

singularly treated in a reflective white finish, the interior surfaces maximize on the natural daylighting effect. hollow, pylon-like structures interspersedly pierce through the second floor, acting as light chimneys for the level below. as the upper storey is kept open to eliminate a sense of restriction to the already tight floor area, the pylons provide loose definition to the connected space, generating private nooks and functional wall units. an internal terrace is fronted by wide operable windows which allow the inhabitants to use the area for hanging laundry.

though limited by neighbouring reinforced walls, the design makes most of the small plot by creating a private outdoor space in the dug out space. the dining room can be extended to this area by sliding glass doors.

interior terrace

(left) study nook (right) sleeping area

view of the light chimneys from the ground floor


dining area

outdoor space to the back

night view

longitudinal section

cross section

project info: site area: 111.67 m2 building area: 45.58 m2 total floor area: 89.28 m2 storeys: 2 structure: wooden, partly reinforced concrete structrual engineer: satoru shimoyama / shimoyama structure office

  • I like it, But I think it would make me dizzy to live there, there are way too many angles. . love the decoration though

    jc says:
  • no bathroom?

    finny says:
  • The bathroom is on the upper floor by the interior terrace.

    ej says:
  • gratuitous design again? could have been fun if it wasn’t so sophomoric – but alas

    Gman 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.


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
502,528 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample