osaka-based firm OFEA (office for environment architecture) has renovated a house in sasebo, a city on japan’s kyushu island. the previous property, which dated back to the 1960s, was a single storey structure built into a hillside and surrounded by neighboring properties. however, the house had begun to show its age, and was affected by extreme cold in winter and extreme heat in summer. there were also problems with insect infestations.

OFEA house renovation
all images by yousuke harigane



consequently, norio yoshinaga, who leads OFEA, was tasked with renovating the property for its client — a young woman who inherited the residence from her grandparents. in addition to improving insulation, the architect also sought to better integrate the structure with its surroundings and offer sweeping views across the neighborhood below. the design also serves as an example of what can be done in a country that suffers from a growing number of empty houses and an aging population.

OFEA house renovation
the house is located in sasebo, a city on japan’s kyushu island



importantly, a new timber structure has been used to reorganize the home’s interior. this insulated volume runs through the center of the dwelling and contains a kitchen and living room. the corridor culminates in an external deck, which frames views of the landscape and brings cooling breezes into the home in summer — providing a closer relationship with the natural environment. other areas of the home, including its sleeping quarters, are found in adjoining rooms that form part of the previously existing property.

OFEA house renovation
the single storey structure is built into a hillside

OFEA house renovation
a timber deck provides a place to relax outdoors

OFEA house renovation
the dwelling offers sweeping views across the neighborhood 

OFEA house renovation
the kitchen has been designed to allow its user to feel like they are cooking in a cave

OFEA house renovation
the corridor culminates in an external deck, which frames views of the landscape

OFEA house renovation
timber has been used throughout the design

OFEA house renovation
elements of the previously existing home have been retained

OFEA house renovation
a quiet reading area

OFEA house renovation
the home’s brightly illuminated bathroom



project info:


name: house renovation in sasebo
architects: norio yoshinaga (office for environment architecture)
location: nagasaki, japan
design: norio yoshinaga
site area: 371.66 sqm
area: 104.17 sqm
total floor area: 104.17 sqm
project year: 2017
construction type: renovation
scale: single story house
photography: yousuke harigane