Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

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Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Japanese architects Shinichi Ogawa & Associates have completed this house in Kanagawa, Japan, which features a double-height central living area connecting all the rooms. 

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Called Cube House, the project features a glazed roof that allows natural light into the atrium.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Photographs are by Satoshi Shigeta.

Here's more information from Shinichi Ogawa & Associates:


The house is built on a 1.5M grid module in all XYZ directions.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

This site is at a corner of the new residential area in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The space is composed of a solid cube of 9.0M x 9.0M x 6.0M and a cubic void of 4.5M x 4.5M x 6.0M.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The hall, children's room, kitchen are laid out to surround the living-dining room on the ground floor.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

On the first floor, the bedroom, walk-in closet, bathroom, courtyard, are laid out to surround the double floor-height well which is 6.0M.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa Associates

Each room of the interior space is connected through the void of the living room.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

And the void cuts off the sky as a geometric form, letting the sunlight inside.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

In this house, all events, the changes of the seasons, course of time, and human activity, are created through the void.

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Cube House by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates


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  • edward

    A variation on the Azuma House by Tadao Ando but lacking the elemental spiritualism of the bare concrete and open courtyard. I prefer the playfulness of Kiri’s House earlier in a similar context.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542814330 Kanwal Deep Kapoor

    Ok, this is benchmark for minimalism !!

  • http://www.AtelierWong.com Patrick Y Wong

    The light well of the double height space is reminiscent of Louis Kahn's British Art Museum at Yale University. The light quality is simply fantastic there. With the apparently transparent rooftop, I wonder if there is actually too much light and glare created from the all white interior walls. I also question the wisdom of not having handrails in the stairwells. It photographs beautifully of course and perhaps Japan building code doesn't require such safety measures or the owner's removed them after inspection. I would also like to see the spaces on the perimeter

  • http://conseilsdeco.net/ Conseilsdeco

    Children rooms next to the livingroom … what an idea!

  • http://twitter.com/andrefillipe @andrefillipe

    I pray that I never become the kind of person that would purchase and enjoy living in a house like this. If only for causing such a reaction on me, I grant that this is indeed and intriguing project.

  • cathryn

    I think the front of the house needs a mural.

  • anton

    total minimalism…
    loving the plans lol

  • tettero

    nice lobby…

  • curb

    so to walk from the master bedroom to the bathroom, you have to walk down and then up an entire flight of stairs? good thing japanese people dont age…

  • mic

    japanese are really extremist. i like the sculptural form, the lighting, simplicity, minimalism, whatever, it is awesome. but i just can't believe a family can live in it (in a church?). i can't imagine a greater contrast between an aesthetically great design and absolute resignation of the function.

  • themark

    I find it funny that people actually pay money to have these things built, and that others actually think they're great. I will keep checking back to see the glowing reviews of the use of volume, and the stark simplicity. But I challenge anyone to describe this masterpiece in a way that would make me eager to live in it. Bonus points if the commenter has actually lived in Japan through a summer and a winter.

  • siam

    Yesssssssssssssss. I want my child to grow up in a window-less room. Very escapist indeed.

  • antonius

    plan and section is not corresponding with photo of main room. Either child room smaller or main bedroom wider

  • Don

    I wonder if you can place a double bed in the Master Bedroom. To me, it seems like you have two single beds one next to the other. Ridiculous.

    • themark

      Single beds for married couples with children is common here. Double beds are not.

  • Soupdragon

    Forgive my lack of understanding of basic geometrical shapes, but isn't a cube supposed to have equal dims to each side, this one doesn't?

    Also, as pointed out the plans are wrong compared to the photo, otherwise you'd have to go into the kids room to get to the kitchen.

  • Doug C

    I think the interiors are beautifully done. I don't find this extreme but it would be small for my family of five. The front facade seems a little underwhelming given the quality of the interior space.

  • ~S.

    Looks a bit like church.

  • Olly

    love the symettry of the main atrium space but not sure i could live here, looks cold and echoey.

  • http://twitter.com/gabswolf @gabswolf

    I'm sorry, I just can't stand any more japanese houses!

  • http://deconlighting.com Livi

    Do I want to live in this house? A big no. I like trees, grass, a window to look out from, and ideally for the kids too. To hear the kids, do I need and echo of a bunker? It looks good but sorry, not for me.

  • kle

    perhaps the client is rich enough to have 3 or 4 other houses.

  • aluapmt

    I just don't understand what it is the problem in having this kind of houses?
    Some people like to live with lots os useless things, other don't.

    Plus before to crticize this houses, one need to remember that the needs and habits in all cultures are different.
    If some of you cannot stand this japaneses houses or think to live in one of them, there are others who like it. LIKE ME.

    I LOVE THE SIMPLICITY OF DESIGN, who I think just few people can apreciatte.

  • Mick Traen

    I'm amazed how people like to build personal prisons these days!? This house gives me the creeps…

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilan.pan Lilan Pan

      Totally agree. There are tons of examples of minimalism Japanese house that is still cheerful in spirit. This one is just depressing. The architect wished too much to seek the purity of a design that he simply ignored the fact it's a house for people, not for worship. I sympathize the kids who have to grow up there.

  • http://www.brgstudio.com nulla

    A good project, but a bit on an extreme side. As it always happens, if you speak with an extreme language, some people agree, some don`t.
    What I wonder is if it is really necessary to get tu such extremes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1815210240 Peter van der Veer

    There is a piece of Japanese Haiku that explains opposing views while providing some insight into living comfortably in such spaces:

    "In my hut this spring there is nothing
    there is everything."

    In Australia is a choice problem: The extremes from eccentric clutter to this minimalism with the entire spectrum of design influences from all races living here between the two has become the norm. When one feels at home living in both extremes what do we do?
    Buy two houses and live a dual existence?

  • タワー

    I love the plan and section. Lol.