tato architects rebuilds 'house in hakuraku' to bring a family together

tato architects rebuilds 'house in hakuraku' to bring a family together

tato architects, led by yo shimada, has completed a house for a family of four in japan’s kanagawa prefecture. the brief for ‘house in hakuraku’ called for a dwelling where inhabitants could ‘feel the presence of each other regardless of where they are’. shimada’s design is based on the fixed hilltop topography of the site, and the expectation that there will not be any big changes to the quiet residential area in future.

all images by shinkenchiku sha



‘on the site there was an aging main house and a rental building; we decided to rebuild both houses using the same composition,’ explains yo shimada, who leads tato architects. ‘the volumes of the gable roofs were placed with reference to the original layout and form, in order to keep the persimmon tree in the garden and to preserve the memories of the town as much as possible.



internally, the architects considered ways to convey the family’s presence with a flexible series of rooms that can accommodate future lifestyle changes. ‘it is a house where a lifestyle is led by moving round and round in the rooms like a tree house; the interior bristles with columns and floors are scattered in between the spaces,’ the japanese architect continues.



‘we were able to create a good viewpoint by lining up columns, and if it is needed, adding more split-levels, towards the southeast where it opens to the direction of the sky,’ says yo shimada. ‘we also placed a large window on the second floor creating a good view for the small living room, which is also a semi-outdoor area, resulting in a casual and relaxed place that connects with the surroundings.’



project info:


name: house in hakuraku
location: kanagawa, japan

type: family home for parents and children
tato architects/yo shimada
team: yo shimada, yasue imai

: takashi manda structural design

team: takashi manda, taijiro kato

plants: coca-z/tatsuya kokaji
construction: ao co.,ltd.
structure: main structure, timber
scale: two-story house

site area: 243.09 sqm
building area: 66.16 sqm + 25.74 sqm (rental house)

total floor area: 128.39 sqm + 48.44 sqm (rental house)

  • Interesting … call me pedantic but this lacks child safeguards … too many open spaces to fall through … including the staircases … falling off a staircase is sometimes worse than falling down a staircase …

  • Oooooo… am I wrong; there is no door on the bathroom which is next to the kitchen. ..and it has glass half-walls? Jeez, this is like some cult’ish, command communitization. It is not even occupied but the one person in the photo is already looking for a corner to escape. (There is at least a bedroom door – is that for punishment?)


    Jmmy Xi says:

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