You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

print article Print article

A portrait of the Client: Library House, Tochigi, Japan by Shinichi Ogawa.

Photos: Shinichi Ogawa & Associates.

Any lover of traditional books will eventually come across the same conundrum: what to do with them all? Shinichi Ogawa, the architect for this house in Tochigi, Japan, designed a house around a library wall some 6.5m tall. In so doing, he made a clear statement about his client which he carried through other architectural details in the design.

When a client commissions his own house he usually wants it to embody something of his, or their, own character. And so the library in this instance became the metaphor for the scholarly traditions dear to its owners. But in the elegant, sophistication of other aspects of the house, the design infers an absence of ostentation and base characteristics as described by scholars such as Confucius and Aristotle.

High praise indeed from the architect to his client! But perhaps we shall never know if this is a portrait of the client as he is, or if he has been shamelessly, if beautifully, flattered.

Rear elevation.

From the lounge looking out.

Lounge detail.

Dining area detail.

Rooflight detail

Courtyard detail.

Looking in.

Looking in.

Gratitude to Spoon & Tamago.

Current magazine
DETAIL 6/2020
DETAIL 6/2020

Modular prefabricated

See magazine
Product teaser


Detail Newsletter

We will keep you informed about international projects, news on architectural and design topics, research and current events in our newsletter.