the kitakamakura house: a place for everyone


the kitakamakura house by takahiro endo architects sits in a quiet residential area among the japanese mountains, where most properties have their windows and curtains closed shut — almost like a refusal to socialize. these ‘closed off’ houses, according to takahiro endo, further exacerbate the isolated character of the neighborhood. as such, the architect decided to activate and revitalize the area by building a social house open to the local community. the resulting architecture is a 106 sqm house for a family of four, organized into ‘a place for everyone’ and ‘a place for oneself’. this clear balance between privacy and sociality will help connect the owners to their neighbors at a comfortable scale — a habit that will hopefully activate social dynamics, generation after generation.


kitakamakura house 1
all images © nakayama yasuhiro



balancing sociality with intimate zones 


architect takahiro endo placed the social area outside the kitakamakura house where daily activities unfold and are visible to the local community. indeed, passersby can catch the owners reading, relaxing, working, eating, or even gathering with friends. like a façade, the owners’ open movements can slowly build a relationship between the architecture and the community. naturally, this exterior, social area is counterbalanced by more intimate zones where residents can enjoy their privacy. the latter includes the bedroom, bathroom, toilet, and an inner garden that brings in natural light and ventilation. stretching across the floor area, both the social and private zones ultimately articulate spaciousness and comfort within the house. kitakamakura house 2


architecturally, the house is built of wood with flat, nest-shaped spaces and a cross-sectional composition holding a sloped roof. from the outside looking in, passersby can see wooden beams outlining the glazed façades. this exposed wooden design helps distinguish the interiors from the exterior structure and sharpen the placeness of each room for more straightforward navigation.

kitakamakura house 6
kitakamakura house 10

kitakamakura house 7
kitakamakura house 8

kitakamakura house 4





project info:


name: kitakamakura house

location: kitakamakura, japan

architecture: takahiro endo architects office

site area: 271 sqm

total floor area: 106 sqm

building area: 70.56 sqm

photography: nakayama yasuhiro



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.



edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom