satoshi saito's 'melt' house in osaka encloses an indoor garden

satoshi saito's 'melt' house in osaka encloses an indoor garden

in yao, a city in japan’s osaka prefecture, architect satoshi saito has completed a residence on a narrow plot that measures just 5.6 meters (18 ft). named ‘melt’, the dwelling was designed for a couple in their 30s and their two children. the client asked for a house where they could feel a close connection with the natural environment, despite the site’s urban context at the foot of a mountain.

satoshi saito melt house
all images by norihito yamauchi



in response, satoshi saito, who leads architecture firm SAI, designed the house around a sheltered, double-height courtyard. enclosing a tree and a couch, this multi-functional void — called the ‘dry garden’ — is used as one of the home’s rooms. ‘in addition, by providing large openings and high-side lights, the plan is to take in plenty of natural light into the house and actively take in natural ventilation even though it is a long and narrow building,’ explains the architect.

satoshi saito melt house



the positioning of the space also ensures that the home’s users can experience nature throughout the year’s changing seasons. ‘this plan hopes that even in a limited area, the dry garden will allow the residents to spend a variety of time and create a space where each scene can be spun up in a dense and diverse manner,’ says satoshi saito. another project by the japanese architect is a residence that reinterprets the traditional gable roof.

satoshi saito melt house

satoshi saito melt house

floor plans (click to enlarge)

section (click to enlarge)



project info:


name: melt
location: yao, osaka, japan
site area: 131.45 sqm
building area: 67.98 sqm
total floor area: 114.05 sqm
design: SAI architectural design office, satoshi saito
photography: norihito yamauchi

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