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House H for a family, Matsudo City, Japan by Hiroyuki Shinozaki.

Photos: Fumihiko Ikememoto.

When designing a family house, there is a temptation to design tightly around the client's current needs, but these will inevitably change with time. More subtle perhaps, and certainly more difficult, is to design with the spirit of the family as perhaps a more constant quality to inform the proceedings. A successful home will be created when that spirit is able to grow within the house.

Hiroyuki Shinozaki looks as though he has designed a dream home for his clients in Matsudo City, a satellite town within commuting distance from Tokyo, that will surely be successful. The architect has interpreted building a house in this city as a declaration of intent that his clients want light, space and hope.

He has provided these qualities in abundance.

Externally, the house appears as a large barn, albeit an interesting contemporary one. In fact it looks like the diagram of how a house should look, if one ignores some of the contemporary features for a moment.

Inside the house, the space feels surprisingly dynamic. The large roof is supported with timber “Y” shaped columns from which six floor areas are suspended, each at a slightly different level to the next. This breaks-up the large space into more intimate areas and also allows a certain level of interpretation as to how the spaces might be used.

In material terms, blond wood and white infill with some polished concrete on the ground floor is as restrained as can be. All remaining colour to be provided by the people that will live there.


Gratitude to Spoon & Tamago for drawing my attention to this project.


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