house in toguchi brings concrete architecture to lush japanese island

house in toguchi brings concrete architecture to lush japanese island

sakai architects takes to amami ōshima island


Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Amami Ōshima Island, this House in Toguchi has been completed by Japanese studio Sakai Architects. Home to an emergency medicine physician and a beautician couple with their three children and their dog, this dwelling with an adjacent hair salon serves not only as a dwelling but as a retreat from the hectic urban life. With a structure of concrete and timber, the architects have framed the lush surroundings and incorporated the family’s specific needs into the design. Thus, the space celebrates both functionality and the tranquility of of its natural island context.


The house is nestled in a remote part of the island where vacation homes and guesthouses are scarce. The couple’s choice of this location was driven by a desire to raise their children in a natural environment and to offer the Emergency Room doctor a peaceful escape from the city. Situated on a sprawling 1,000 square-meter plot, the house is surrounded by native plant life, gently sloping down from the mountain to the sea, minimizing its ecological footprint and harmonizing with its surroundings.

sakai architects house toguchiimages © blitz studio | @ii_blitzstudio



a private home with a hair salon


One distinctive aspect of Sakai Architects‘ House in Toguchi project is its approach to circulation. The northwest section of the plot houses the two-story residence, while a terrace extends toward the ocean, acting as a transition zone between the interior and exterior spaces. The front door is not the main entrance for visitors — instead, both the living room and salon are accessed through the terrace. This design choice recalls the traditional engawa, a partially enclosed veranda, as an entrance for close friends and relatives.


Inside the project’s residential wing, the house is divided across two levels. The first floor accommodates the functional and shared areas including the living, dining, and kitchen areas which open out toward views facing the ocean. Upstairs, sleeping spaces unfold with the master bedroom and children’s rooms. The design fosters connection and natural lighting through strategically placed openings, such as the partial wall cutouts and a high closet partition. These elements enable the family members to feel each other’s presence throughout the house. Meanwhile, the salon is discreetly situated between the house and terrace, maintaining customer privacy while framing lush views.

sakai architects house toguchi



the house in toguchi of concrete and timber


In a region prone to typhoons, the House in Toguchi stands strong with a reinforced concrete framework, ensuring structural integrity. The timber roof structure helps to reduce solar heat, which contributes to cost savings. The home’s elevated hillside position provides natural ventilation year-round, eliminating the need for air conditioning even in the midst of summer.


Carefully positioned windows frame postcard views of the sea and mountains. These windows are equipped with deep eaves, which serve the dual purpose of blocking harsh sunlight while inviting a flood of ambient natural light. To ensure privacy and shield the interior from the intense western sun, the west facade remains mostly closed — this space is thoughtfully punctuated by skylights to allow essential daylight.

sakai architects house toguchi
skylights flood the interiors with ambient sunlightsakai architects house toguchi
the architects frame views of the lush island landscapesakai architects house toguchiinteriors celebrate exposed concrete and an expressive timber roof structure


dropped partitions lend a visual continuity to the timber ceiling

house in toguchi brings concrete architecture to lush japanese island
a hair salon is attached to the private homehouse in toguchi brings concrete architecture to lush japanese islandstrategic openings connect the different spaces of the house


full-height glazing create an exaggerated perspective of the interior

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