UID architects: pit house in okayama, japan UID architects: pit house in okayama, japan
nov 05, 2012

UID architects: pit house in okayama, japan

‘pit house’ by UID architects, okayama, japan image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc. all images courtesy of UID architects




japanese practice UID architects has recently sent us images of the ‘pit house’ in the okayama prefecture for a single family of three. in re-interpreting the usual housing typology, the dwelling embraces its site with the main living functions in a space that extends the exterior into the interior, dug into the ground in a sort of ‘pit.’ the private areas are lifted off the ground in a solid box clad in cedar planks and covered in structural plywood panels on the inside with cherry floorboards. slender metal columns anchored in individual pylons spring from the bed of course gravel covering the immediate site to support the elevated mass.


an inset glass wall wraps the interstitial space between land and building to let in natural light into the main volume of the residence and create a visual continuity to the outside. the primary structure consists of concentric concrete inhabitable cylinders in a sunken circular footprint. many separate levels contain small gardens and several programmatic elements.

wood-clad upstairs houses the private functions image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

stairs located between the concrete core and the wooden outer ring image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

social areas in circular spaces image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

a glass wall wraps the living areasletting in natural light image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

kitchen image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

exterior staircase in a circular landscape image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

gravel bed from the outside reaches the interior image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

wood-clad facade looking over the neighboring houses image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

street-side facade image © koji fujii/nacása & partners inc.

floor plan / level 0 1. carport 2. terrace 3. entry 4. kitchen 5. dining room 6. living room 7. bathroom

floor plan / level 1 8. children’s room 9. bedroom 10. storage



construction detail of metal columns





project info:


consultants: konishi structural engineers: yasutaka konishi, takeshi kaneko structural: toshiya ogino environment design office: toshiya ogino general contractor: nakamura construction co.ltd. – hiromi nakamura, yasunobu hida, keizou yoshioka, kazuhiko kiminami structural system: steel structure used materials: exterior; ceder plate, wood protection paint interior: structural plywood, exposed concrete, wood protection paint, cherry flooring site area: 232.12 sqm built area: 115.32 sqm total floor area: 116.66 sqm date of completion: october, 2011

  • Is this designed only for the obese? Or are they just trying to demonstrate how incredibly strong the flooring system is?

    ac2012 says:
  • Goff in a box

    dbkii says:
  • this is like something i have not seen alot of at all, a proper House.. i love it

    alexis F says:
  • Wonderful combination of materials, lines and spaces…appears extremely livable.

    magnotta says:
  • I love it, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Not nearly enough space nor privacy in the bedrooms.

    psychonaut25 says:
  • I would have never thought cheap plywood could look nice. I feel like they over did it in areas but i could see the potential in smaller doses. Properly sanded and prepared with a varnish or stain could have a neat effect.

    RoyaleWithCheese says:

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