House in Sakuragawa by Suppose Design Office



Another residential project from Japanese studio Suppose Design Office, who designed the House in Kamakura in our previous story: located in Sakuragawa, Japan, this family home has been designed to create a spacious interior with a limited floor plan.


Located on a 50 square meter corner plot, the design uses a split-level layout without barriers to maximizes the sense of space and allow communication between all three floors.


White-painted, metal staircases link each floor.


Situated in a residential area, the house incorporates a large bay-window overlooking a park opposite the house.


Photographs by Toshiyuki Yano.


See House in Kitakamakura by Suppose Design Office in our previous story.


Here's further information from Suppose Design Office:


House in Sakuragawa

The site is a 50 square meter corner lot situated in a residential area of Tokyo's Itabashi city.


To the South, across the road, is a park, promising an environment in which the four seasons can vividly be felt.


Here we sought to build an expansive home in which a family of two parents, a child, a grandmother, and a dog would be able to live comfortably.


Though the site is small, from the beginning we wanted to build a house that felt big, as if even the park was your own.


From the aperture in the 2nd floor living space, with it's bay windows and bench that make you feel as though you are sitting in the park and where you can keep an eye on your children playing outside, to the split levels that allow you to communicate easily with family members and keep every place in the house connected, we have designed a space with a sense of security and peacefulness.


Certainly the house is not lavishly decorated, but we think we have created a home in which people's lives can be enriched by interacting with one another.


While architecture that places the most importance on facilities and efficiency has its value, we think with this timeless design that emphasizes communication and security you will be able to find new richness in your life.


building site: Sakuragawa, Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
principal use: personal house
structure: steel structure, 3 stories
site area: 50.00 m2

building area: 33.16 m2 (66.32% MAX 70%)
total floor area: 91.01m2 (182.02% MAX 200%)
design : suppose design office : Makoto Tanijiri
photographer : Toshiyuki Yano [ Nacasa & Partners Inc ]





More about Suppose Design Office on Dezeen:



House in Kamakura

Posted on Tuesday June 9th 2009 at 10:45 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • dog and grandma are gonna love all those stairs.

  • Chris M

    While I consider myself a fan of minimalism, I have to ask – where is the furniture? where do they sleep? why are they all wearing black? are they goth?

    • this is just the house exposed, nobody's living there yet. it's just the way japanese architects like to show their work! :)

  • Gilbert

    Love the idea of how you managed to fit in the spaces despite the small constraint site. But i think the open staircases might not be suitable for the elder resident.

  • wentao


    dangerous for the kid and grandparent

  • Mingren

    Love the bench like area for sitting, resting or even sleeping, better still if the surface area is made of cushion. I am curious about the 2nd last picture, where it seems that there is another level below the second floor living space. I suppose it is a working area

  • R

    Grandmother, kids, dog and parents all in one house without separate rooms and walls? Yet another reason why there are love hotels in Japan.

  • Y.K Wong

    Love the design, but is it me or does the place look extremely hazardous for a baby/infant/child? I can imagine a toddler trying to jump from floor to floor with those big open gaps next to the stairs…..

  • MarkJ

    It’s a Japanese house so perhaps the occupants have tatami mats hidden away in fitted storage. If you rolled over too far whilst sleeping you’d roll under the hand rail down to the next level. Still, besides the impracticalities of this design (at least from the POV of westerners) I still love it.

  • gab xiao

    CHRIS M – you don’t have to be a fan of minimalism only, you have to be minimalist rather to get the architectural quality of that space. Besides the house in question is not minimalist per se.

    With the sparse furniture and blank walls and floors, the pictures look contrived indeed. The ‘goths’ that you’re spotting in the picture are merelyhuman silhouettes that give scale to the building; that they are dressed in dark clothes and sometimes shown blurred is to preserve focus on the architectural space only.

    As for the toddler and the grandma concerns, German codes must more strict.

  • Gallego

    if it was for a young couple, I’d have only one trouble with the solution: the staircase looks awful.. maybe a different design or material (or both) of the stairs and the railing might help… but shiningly white and cheap-looking designed staircase doesn’t work for me with the wooden floor and ceiling and everything…

    but if it should function as a three-generation apartment?! no.. lacking privacy both inside (turn around, granma, we’re gonna have sex) and from outside (lovely show case indeed)… this is a “DON’T!” example…

  • feli

    too much

  • mcmlxix

    What a tiny house for 4 people and a dog. Perhaps I betray my American (rather than Japanese) assumptions of space and privacy, or perhaps it has to do this the lack of interior walls.

    When the architect says, “the split levels that allow you to communicate easily with family members and keep every place in the house connected,” I cannot help wonder why anyone who’s trying to sleep or have quiet study time would want that level of communication and connectedness with those involved in more active or audible pursuits.

    Otherwise, this would be a fine live/work space for 1 or 2 people. I like the extroversion and horizontality that the large bay window provides on the primary floor, and how that contrasts with the introversion and upward verticality of the upper floors.

  • No, it wouldn’t be an ideal home for grandma, or little kids or dogs. But I still love it, love it, love it.

  • Paulo

    Its a great house, for a 50m2 area. It has a lot of spaces and natural lightning, but i really wonder what the grannie would tell about going up and down all day long on those stairs.

  • bueso

    great project ! nice 50m2 hierarquization.

  • I love this. The Grandma child and dog can live in the park behind the house.

    HOWEVER, even as a healthy young adult, the lack of banisters in this house TERRIFIES me.

  • Prof. Z

    “the lack of banisters in this house TERRIFIES me.” also
    Stairs are good for health… but here it’s a danger for young and older…

  • Diego

    Addr. to Mingren – “it seems that there is another level below the second floor living space. I suppose it is a working area”

    I think my guess to that is that its where the bathroom fits in!? I don’t see any reference to where else it chould fit. I do love the space however, 50 square meters is actually very small and they capitalised exceptionally well. But I agree with all the others, 1 to 2 people max.

  • Bruce

    The comments expose our very conventional or western societal views. This is yet another lovely design by Suppose Design Office and while there may be some challenges (to those views) presented by the solution, remember the total floor area is just over 91 sm (little more than 900 sf). Also understand the curtains which would provide some degree of privacy to the sleeping areas have been removed for the photography (or were not yet installed) but the tracks at the ceiling show how the spaces are to be separated. With the elegant bathroom solution on the entry or ground floor there is another incentive for keeping one’s legs young and fit; but remeber this was a very desirable 5o sm site across the street from a park.

    The only design decision I would question is not facing the upper terrace toward the park and increasing it’s accessibility.

  • sullka

    As Bruce said above, most of the replies are based on a Western culture type of thinking (regarding privacy and space)

    Now, regarding safety or regulation issues, even though I agree that even for a young person, things like steep steps with minimal railing are kind of dangerous, It’s refreshing to see architecture without “ADA” concerns.

  • yrag

    It’s all clean lines and aesthetics until someone gets hurt.

    Hopefully no one will ever be tipsy, have to take a leak in the middle of the night or be on anything other than the ground floor when an earthquake strikes.

    What am I talking about? No need for railings — there are never any earthquakes in Japan!

  • dav

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that this house was designed specifically for this family. Perhaps granma is spry and agile, perhaps the kids are old enough to take care of themselves, perhaps the family loves being in contact with each other.

    Bruce, I would suggest the only reason the terrace is not facing the park is because the roof confi that allows the terrace also allows for light into the neighbours’ windows.

    This is a beautiful and clever solution for an interesting family on a difficult small site in an expensive city.

  • Mr.T

    Love the clean lines and division of space. Layout is a little manic though.

    Also, it’s hard to imagine living there, unless these pictures are from the day you moved in. Even minimalists have “stuff” to be used in daily life. All I can spot are a couch and dining set, and possibly a radio hanging on the wall.

    On the upside, moving would be a snap!

  • Mansoor

    A beautiful concept indeed…. can be used for a cafe!!!

  • but why

    they aint goth, they are architects, architects wear black ;)

  • w


  • Carlos Couto

    stylish, but doesn't get to create enough space for bedrooms and work areas. good social room, though. but it's way too dangerous to live in… even an adult slipping is a hazard, so I won't comment children and their ways!