shogo aratani architect & associates: trapezoid
shogo aratani architect & associates: trapezoid shogo aratani architect & associates: trapezoid
apr 02, 2012

shogo aratani architect & associates: trapezoid

‘trapezoid’ by shogo aratani architect & associates in hyogo, japan all images courtesy shogo aratani architect & associates image © kaori ichikawa




japanese practice shogo aratani architect & associates has shared with us images of ‘trapezoid’, a multi-storey ceramic atelier and dwelling for a young family of three in hyogo, japan. situated on a sloping plot, the design works around a set of strict local building regulations to create a trapezoidal floor plan that incorporates elements of the outdoors into the interior.

street elevation image © kaori ichikawa




requiring a maximum built plot ratio of 40%, a wall setback of 2m from the road and 1m from the adjacent plot, the footprint of the residence was whittled down to a plan measuring 8 by 9m. as the volume rises, the trapezoid gradually shifts inwards to become a square, creating an angular ridge that forms the west-facing facade. the titanium-zinc alloy cladding of the exterior exaggerates this feature by changing the direction of its panels, resulting in a visually-dynamic elevation.

interior view of entrance gallery image © kaori ichikawa



simple and pragmatic, the overall layout of the interior was determined by the requirements of the programs: the ground floor and basement levels were treated as a public zone with an open-space atelier that could serve as a light-filled gallery. the height differences across the site enabled the layered configuration to distinctly separate the atelier from the residential zone on the second and third floors. a sense of continuity and fluidity is established by a series of void spaces that vertically pierce through the house, allowing indirect natural daylight to filter down each level.

atelier on basement level image © kaori ichikawa

vertical void space through floors image © kaori ichikawa

views of stairs images © kaori ichikawa

display elements by stairs image © kaori ichikawa


dining and living space image © kaori ichikawa


view of living space from third floor image © kaori ichikawa


schematic diagram

(left) floor plan / level -1 (right) floor plan / level 0



(left) floor plan / level +1 (right) floor plan / level +2









project info:


site area: 172.05 m2 building area: 68.00 m2 total floor area: 194.32 m2 structural system: reinforced concrete

consultant: TIS & PARTNERS general contractor: nishimura kenchiku kobo

  • Dark, depressing.

    Alex says:
  • Calm, soothing mix of open and private.

    Concentrated, controlled, productive and restful.

    Good Work!

    David says:
  • poetic, lovely.

    gwjc 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
492,237 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample