House in Kamiosuga by Suppose Design Office


Here is another project by our featured architects Suppose Design Office, this time the renovation of a house in Hiroshima city, Japan, where interiors are divided by walls that only reach halfway down from the ceiling.

Called House in Kamiosuga, the project involved gutting the existing interior and inserting new half-height partitions between existing beams.

These areas are raised on platforms, creating a lower corridor between the partitions and surrounding exterior walls.

When standing inhabitants feel enclosed within the rooms, but views open up across the interior from a seated position.

See all our stories about Suppose Design Office in our special category.

Photographs are by Toshiyuki Yano.

The text below is from the architects:

House in Kamiosuga

Usually, when we distinguish between the inside and outside of the buildings we make an unconscious judgment of the direction and strength of the sunlight, the sensation of the ground, the types of sounds flooding our surroundings and their power.

The renovations currently being done involved totally gutting this building's frame and have left an amount of new living space; the existing partition beams had been hanging partition walls that divided the now-open space.

The open space that had been surrounded and closed off "within" these hanging partition walls now enjoys a soft light coming from underfoot that calms the place; the "external" open space outside of these partitions seems like a garden-like place with lots of light coming in. Indeed the open spaces within the building are planned to make it seem as if you had entered a garden.

With the "inside"and "outside" spaces articulated by the difference in height between the hanging partition walls and the floor, upon standing up the open space becomes partitioned into other spaces, and upon taking a seat the long-separated open spaces become one again.

The combination of these interior and exterior spaces begin to build an intimate relationship.

The sense that one originally held of "inside versus outside", here gives birth to various relationships, while becoming distinct or muddled according to one's actions.

Within this house was born a place that seems externalized, where interior and exterior elements mingle in our daily lives;it makes one wonder if a fruitful relationship between them is being built right here.

Building site: Hiroshima city, Hiroshima, Japan
Principal use: personal house (renovate only second floor)
Structure: reinforced concrete structure,
3 stories
Floor area:90.89m²

Posted on Tuesday February 23rd 2010 at 4:55 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Hamid

    OH MY GOD!!!
    how many projects do they have?!!
    is there any other architecture firm in japan?

  • gira

    enough “Suppose Design Office”… no more SDO for the next few weeks please.

  • Pretty cool space

  • onlineconsumer

    Is “Suppose Design Office” paying for the use of Dezeen? Enough already.

  • @onlineconsumer No of course not, we like their work and they sent us a whole bunch of projects at the same time. That’s all.

  • Jeff

    Are all the people who read Dezeen grouchy little wankers or are those the only people who leave comments?

  • yuki tat u mention..i like all their works tat were posted in Dezeen n i dun even noe its from Suppose Design Office. Nice!

  • ariefsiagian

    smart design.
    but i wonder, how did they presented to the owner to accept this concept?

  • Andrew

    I love their work, thank-you for showing it!

  • Jo

    Hmmm…wouldn’t it feel a little depressed, feeling “naked” down below while being blocked the upper half? I think it feels unsecured for users inside the space.

  • If I was a Hobbit it the space might work for me.

  • die anderen

    great project from a great office.

    isn’t it much rather amazing, that a young architect has so many beautiful projects? super talent!

  • chris

    Like it. Like their concrete walls. Seems its some kind of signature.

  • yeah… SDO rocks… I want to see their bigger projects though

  • ml

    Very very cool, love their work, but dezeen seems to be turning into the official “Suppose Design Office” website…

  • modular

    I’d rather see 100 consecutive posts of Suppose Design Office, than 5 consecutive posts os Zaha Hadid or student renderings.

    Keep it up Dezeen!

  • eva

    why cant a plan/section thumbnail cannot be enlarged?i cant see anything!

  • ondrej

    all houses by suppose are beautiful! please show them all!

  • tanya telford – T

    i think their studio is producing some really interesting work – different ideas of division of space with regards to functionality and human/family interaction at home, really like this project too although, for me, id like it more with a gap in the kitchen half wall (door widthish),

    • 1plus2minus3

      I agree tanya, the space is very closed. Cutting out some of that half-wall would really help in the overall feeling of the design, cheers!

  • Berenyi

    It’s cool and clear, and beauty, but inhuman for me. Rigid athmosphere, and the cut in the biddle section … make meunconfortable. Maybe I live too european lifestyle for it.

  • bob

    hahaha, I would love so see that pitch:

    Client: “Make me a new home. Btw I’m rich”

    Architect: “Ok, Imagine this: YOU don’t get to see anything at all, but the NEIGHBOURS will have a constant crouch-down view of your entire family.

    Client: “Brilliant! Where do I sign?!”

  • gab xiao

    Agree with Modular – its time for a breath of fresh air. I’m sick with formal complexity – really, anything can go?… Let’s see more of the Japanese New Wave rather than Zaha’s student renderings.

    The latest Suppose Design Office is still seducing, but enough for now. Dezeen, what about Manabu Chiba or Atelier Tezuka?…

  • amsam

    What a strange strange experiment, but one richly worth performing. I wish I could spend some time there, to see how it feels and works with its inhabitants.

  • Agree too about the modular solution. Suppose D.O. surprises with each new project.

  • roel

    Suppose Rocks! Please show it all!

  • i dont like this….

  • Bopper3000

    Really original idea to seperate space…I love it! although probably works better for short asian people and rather than people from the rest of the world :p

  • atal

    This is great, nice to see some furnitures in a Japanese home for once. The Serge Mouille lamps look fabulous as usual. Very inspiring I think.

  • This house commits architecture’s cardinal sin: it ignores the human form.

  • mark

    hey bob, did you fail to notice the frosted lower panes of glazing, no crotch shots here. a little more rigor in analyzing before commenting is in order… Suppose rocks!

  • yl

    some pretty dumb comments here. The idea is about re-interpreting the term "partitions". If I were that short, then what's there to re-interpret about? It would just be an extra long beam. Duh. It's not like the architect doesn't know about the human form/proportions. He obviously does, and he obviously is doing this very intentionally. So stop saying things like "it ignores the human form" because it, ironically, reacts very intensely in relation to the human proportions, but whether it's a good thing or not, that's another question on its own.

    And if you think this would work better for "short midgets", then really, you have not understood why he did this half-wall in the first place.

    And about neighbours with a full crouch-down view? Seriously, learn to read some sections.

    And to all the comments complaining about the sudden influx of SDO designs on Dezeen… Would you be complaining if Dezeen suddenly has an influx of posts by ______(insert fav aki firm's name)? No. So hush now and just judge architecture for architecture's sake. We do not need unnecessary comments like these.

    That said, I do agree with Jo that the occupants would feel undeniably more self-conscious about the bottom half of their body. I think that would be accurate to say in a less familiar surroundings, like an office. But for a home, it should be fine. In fact, might be delightful to constantly notice your loved ones around the room, yet retaining the certain level of privacy that is needed to not have them get sick of each other.

  • tan

    there is sooo much concept in their work , their gonna get it fully right at some point . not exactly amaged by what i see – but they seam to b getting the clients to experiment— which is lucky!

    i wouldnt disagree but , about dezeen taking it easy with their posts on suppose

  • roman kralya

    is it useful? I`m sure I`d breake my head or foots in this kitchen )))

  • That suppose design office is very unique and new. The idea was good and I suggest that you could add something for the ventilation of the office so that in could be more comfortable and some labels or warning before entering or going out of that office because of the style of the door.

  • The hanging wall around the kitchen & dining is, I assume, a purposeful trap for air and odours but I can't see any escape for it.

  • Maria

    I love the materials used and the concept is smart but maybe would have been fun simply as a hypothetical project. I don't see how this creates an enjoyable living experience. The gap at leg height feels like you could walk out, gives freedom but you are blocked by the top part of the wall. And there are no view and not enough light… Our tutors at uni would have laughed at this!

  • Michael

    Interesting… I feel like it’s the architectural expression of sinus pressure.