House in Hiro by Suppose Design Office


Our current featured architects Suppose Design Office of Japan have designed a residence in Hiroshima with two rooms that appear to be outdoors.

The house, located on a busy commercial street, aims to satisfy the clients wish for bright gardens in an area where there are none.

The sunlit rooms use natural materials and finishes in an effort to bring a sense of the garden indoors.

Read all our Suppose Design Office stories in our featured architect category.

Here's more information from the architects:

House in Hiro

This spacious house is a home that has two gardens.

The site is located in a shopping district alongside the main highway, a harsh place to satisfy the demands of a client desiring a home with bright gardens.

There are no outdoor gardens here, so we decided to plan out the kind of place that you could almost call a real garden, by bringing to the indoors materials that evoke - elements of the outdoors - garden-like elements such as light and raw materials.

By setting up garden rooms that at first sight make you feel as if you are in a real outdoor garden - despite being indoors - we have created a distinction between the indoors and outdoors.

By putting characteristically "outdoor" things such as plants and bicycles in the rooms, as well as books, artwork, and pianos, we have portrayed a life in which these elements are all mingled.

We struggled to achieve this new outdoors-like form by changing the way we looked at things just a little bit, by unconsciously recognizing these "inside and outside" elements.

The garden rooms, where the indoors and outdoors mingle, show that rather than being a home that cannot allow the sort of metamorphosis it has seen thus far, this home is comfortable with these changes.

building site : Hiro, Kure city, Hiroshima, JAPAN
principal use : personal house
structure : Reinforced Concrete, 2 storey

site area : 78.34㎡
building site : 37.39㎡
total floor area : 66.46㎡
(1F : 36.33㎡ 2F : 30.13㎡)

Posted on Tuesday February 23rd 2010 at 1:00 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • GREAT !!! I love this guys works. Soo elegant…

  • great stairs … love this

  • jed_

    “only connect!”

    i mean, surely there must be some new japanese houses that aren’t totally windowless and shut off from the outside world? maybe you could post one?

  • ntulnz

    boody clever!
    any developer’s dream: a house without windows which people may actually buy

  • roel

    Sad. Why build on a site like that?

  • bebo

    well, i love suppose, and the idea is smart, but realy the bathroom!

  • dawid

    I’m getting tired of this dark,sad and introverted japanese realisations

  • Claustorfobia

  • BenBen

    Beautiful. But who could live there, seriously? Life isn’t a Vogue magazine.


    I…mhhh…well somehow I like this but…”the clients wish for bright gardens in an area where there are none” I’m not sure if I would be satisfied with this interpretation of “bright”

  • memo

    Honestly, what’s the fuzz about this japanese architecture ?

  • geronimo

    no windows outside? the focus on a short view is given, but there is nothing like “farsightedness”

  • betuwill

    i think this project is a great response to the economic and spatial conditions of dense and expensive Japanese lots, introverting the house and politically, in the sense of the individual sealing it off from the outside, fulfilling the romantic idea of the client possessing the freedom of private outdoor space. its a too European (alpine) thinking of missing windows here. my only criticism would be on an urban level , imagining that if this kind of architecture would spread on a broader level of an entire neighborhood, it would turn our common environment into monolith dominated, grey , sad trist neighborhood,….and then yes we all would miss more peep shows.

  • Javi

    Definitely Japan is a different world!
    any chances of seeing a plan?
    I find there’s too much post with just photos, we get half the information.

  • modular


  • Great! Makoto is just i don’t even know how to define him! in Italy we ‘d say PAZZO!!!! Awesome concept!

  • ios

    they are building too much ))

  • hallo

    photographs very nicely,
    But who can live there? A hermit

  • gab xiao

    it’s a splendid example o occupying a small, dark plot and making good architectural space out of it. living space – with diverse interior spaces, interesting natural lighting, warmth. I bet there are not many who can do that.

    Too bad the almost defunct ElCroquis never bends to such great architecture

  • Klan

    Amazing! So many spatial quality in such a small box.
    I’m lovin’ it (everything SDO builds)

  • chris

    I want to like this because I genrally like all their work, but there is something about this that dissapoints me. Perhaps its the fact that the shower reminds me of a boarding school ablution facility.

  • idealist

    no objections to the overall concept of introversion, top-lighting strategies, nor the minimalistic approach to the design (or the lifestyle required for it)… but again with the springboard stairs? we’ve all done it before: the rendering looks good and simple without a stringer or handrails or thickness in the tread… it’s a cop-out solution. let’s see them design a real working stair that is beautiful, and that won’t deflect 1/2″ at the end with someone on it. i conclude that the client has no children (because that would be irresponsible) and weighs less than 80 lbs.

  • michelalano

    So what kind of building code allows stairs (and their landing) to exist without any kind of railings? I know this stuff just clutters up these beautiful designs, but things like that can provide beautiful detail and gives the project scale (not to mention helping to keep you from breaking your neck). Simply eliminating “clutter” doesn’t constitute a better design.

    Other than that, it’s great.

  • Stefan Balaz

    i would love to visit this “cave” and see if it’s actually habitable. i love the concept and execution and i think it fits well within the culture and spatial restrictions and makes most of what’s available.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    I really love this. I must admt that the almost complete lack of exterior windows (although you can’t see the rear elevation from the photos, there’s just two of – I assume – the front) isn’t what I would design myself, but the truth is that with such a small plot, any external garden space will lack privacy.

    This sort of “walled garden” approach to the bathroom and stairwell, even though it isn’t actually external but has roof glazing, is actually really beautiful and peaceful. It also creates light fill spaces without huge windows which allow too many views in.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    @Idealist – good point about the stairs though. Even if you only have adults going up those, you only need to slip once. Not my sort of thing at all…

  • angry catalan

    Why is everyone so shocked? Ando’s house in Sumiyoshi is 30 years old.

  • brutalist or minimalist..for sure it goes through the core!

  • Jo

    Reminds me of Ando-san’s first row house. However, the concrete work back then was better executed.

  • the design is rocks!!! realy cool, however i am sure that Health and safety executive will have something to say about the stairs….

  • Berenyi

    Simply clear. a little Ando, Tange, maybe Zumtor, and whatever. This staircsa amaze me. /Probably not safe, but the people usually can look out/ Good point the vertical spaceflowing. The concrete – stone couple opposite the wood is another great idea.

  • Deepak

    The stair is so beautiful … we have become so dependent on the outside that we clearly forget whats inside (within us) … i think the idea here is to wake the whole level of consciousness within us and to keep it thus, rather than allowing it to wade off … i have climbed a similar but more complicated stairs @auroville, Pondichery, India designed by a French Architect. I felt the same there, think i would feel this here too.

  • Bloody hell. I guess it just wouldn’t be cutting edge Japanese house design if it didn’t involve death trap stairs and landings. Doesn’t anyone there ever sue anyone for inherently dangerous designs?

  • A prison aesthetic, not one you’d want to spend too much time in.

  • kai

    Looks very cold, too cold to live in. Lack of floorplans, I can’t visualise the layout

  • Asja van der Helm

    Wow.. It looks stunning! Beautiful how the light gets into the building around the staircase and the bathroom. But what’s up with the bathroom being located in/next to the kitchen? If it had a non transparent door… but it’s made out of normal/see trough glass.. This part I Really don’t get.. If you have any idea how this would work, please comment..

  • harry

    i fxcking like the japanese architects who made great design at a small space!

  • I would be happy there
    my books, and the one I love, and some wine, and internet

    but she wouldnt be happy, so we arent movint to japan for now

  • Shmoot

    Magnificent use of space. Super clean, super elegant. And the fact that it has no windows yet you still feel outside proves they achieved their purpose in a spectacular way.

  • The architecture design are nice, "WINDOWLESS" as others says.
    Only few decorations, best for a person that dont like crowded arrangements.
    The only thing that I can say is: It was excellent, unique design of building plan.

    Planning Permission Drawings
    Architectural Design

  • I really love the design, but not sure I could cope with the lack of windows!

  • JM