naf architect & design: glass house for diver naf architect & design: glass house for diver
jun 05, 2012

naf architect & design: glass house for diver

‘glass house for diver’ by naf architect & design, hiroshima, japan all images courtesy of naf architect & design





tokyo and hiroshima-based practice naf architect & design have recently completed ‘glass house for diver’, an ocean-side residence in hiroshima, japan. the exterior is generated by stacking 1 x 1 x 1.5 meter blocks on top of one another, similar to the form of breakwaters to dissipate waves. manufactured from leftover concrete, the blocks are produced by accumulating the extra material at a cement factory in etajima city in hiroshima. the pace of the house’s construction was directly dependent upon the formulation of the components, as construction waited for their phased arrival to the site. an unusual way to schedule a project’s process, this example of ‘slow architecture’ is not perceived as a normal approach in modern day construction.

a groove cut into the surface facilitates the lifting of the elements into place by crane. reinforcing bars are placed through the unit to stabilize during seismic events. stacked in rows, the alignment of vertical joints dictate the standardized shifts between them to create even intervals. the open-weave arrangement allows wind to pass through while obscuring views for privacy inside. sunlight reflects off the surface and into the interior which is enclosed with a glass wall set inside the perimeter blockade. a steel roof shelters from solar gain.

aerial view

similar to a breakwater, stacked concrete blocks form the exterior walls

ocean view

the dwelling’s walls mimic the oceanside retaining wall

outdoor patio

sunning deck

sunning deck

staggered roof and window planes transition into the interior of the house

gravel path between the concrete blocks and glass enclosure

corridor to the bathroom

glass house

living space

view to the tatami room from the terrace

glass house

glass house

tatami room

view from tatami room to the living room

glass house

glass house

kitchen + dining area

at sunset

at sunset

at dusk

at dusk

at night

terrace at night

terrace at night

site plan

floor plan / level 0


masonry block detail

exploded axonometric

  • it reminds me of kahn who said allways suround a construcction by \”ruins\”, but i feel that the spaces look all the same.
    it is strange the combination of stainless.steel / glass / concrete blocks.
    pretty cold

    julio says:
  • Beautiful but no intimacy…

    Fabien says:
  • magic, and intimate, futuristic, romantic, awesome.

    The Japanese have open mind, and eye for future, i from the west learn from this.

    yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

    love-you-all says:
  • where do you sleep?

    m says:
  • superbe

    arista says:
  • In my opinion,
    the surroundings feels as it should be a place to relax and filter the density of the mind. The tatami room successfully achieved this idea, however, the composition of the whole project, the inter relation between culture, surrounding and what it serves failed horrendously.

    Not my cup of japanese tea

    artizki says:
  • welcome to our building, we will cook you without fire in our huge greenhose!!! Is there anybody here who think he can bear here for more than one hour in a sunny day? does the plants can preclude the sunray as it shows in the section ?!! where iS the sustainability???

    BEHSHID says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

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