Keyhole House by EASTERN Design Office


Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Japanese architects EASTERN Design Office tend to design houses with unconventional windows. Here's their latest one in Kyoto.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

The L-shaped glazing that punctures the facade of the residence creates an illuminated frame around the entrance.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Sumi ink stains the rendered exterior of the house, creating a dark outline around the front elevation.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

This ink colours the entire exposed side wall, which features a series of square windows at staggered heights.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Aspects of the building are highlighted in red and pink, including the front door and a thin exterior canopy.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

A ledge below the first floor ceiling inside makes a perfect route for the client's cats.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Other houses on Dezeen by EASTERN Design Office feature windows that are circular, slit-shaped and jagged - see all the projects here.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

We've also featured another house that includes dedicated routes for the family cats - see it here.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Photography is by Koichi Torimura.

Here's a description of the house from the architects:

Keyhole House

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

EASTERN design office

The facade of this house has the shape of a keyhole.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office
A key to open “my house”, which is standing along a narrow street of a crowded town, is designed as a key itself on the façade of this house. A house can be called a key, which will open up your life happily. Such a small key, this house is a key!

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

The site is in Kyoto, Japan. It is a small house for four people and two cats. It has only 100 square meters of floor space. It is standing alone in the corner of a small parking lot like a table left behind at the seaside.

  • The façade is marked by a window shaped like a key.
  • Mortar with sumi ink is applied to the exterior wall.
  • Simple color coding. Red and purple are used as an accent.
  • The triangle roof.
  • Random arrangement of small windows.
  • The edge to make the shape of this house clearer.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

There is a thin steel eave which is fixed to the façade of this house as if it is floating, and a key-shaped slit like a “picture”, crossing over the eave. A red wine-colored door. These are laid out like a beautiful pattern designed on a jewel box.

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

You sometimes will see a cat lying by the window at this house. You wonder what she is watching. Do you still have a naïve heart with a key to open this house?

Keyhole House by Eastern Design Office

Data: Keyhole House
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Architect: EASTERN design office
Site Area: 90.81㎡
Total Floor Area: 103.47㎡
Structural Engineering: EASTERN design office
Contractor: arcc

  • Steve in CA

    Please, Dezeen, show us more photographs of spaces actually being used. Would it kill you to actually show furnished living or dining spaces with people in them? All these bare, empty spaces leave me cold inside. I can't imagine anyone enjoying even a brief visit to them, let alone actually living there. Architecture is as much (more!) about our perception of the space and its function as it is about the physical materials. I'd love to think this is a great space, but the Sleepbox photos present a more inviting interior than these.

    • There's a cat….

    • DZ9Chick

      They probably can't afford furnishings after paying the architect's fees…

  • Hi Steve. We don't commission our own photography – all the photos on Dezeen are supplied by the architects themselves or, in some cases, architectural photographers.

  • alex

    I really dislike the laminate flooring, and the floor finish in general – it looks like a school sports hall or dance studio. Designing walkways for cats however, is very cool.

    • kle

      Do the Japanese cats already know where to walk? Mine walks wherever it wants and sleeps on my desk. What if I build the walkway and my cat doesn't use it?

  • eva

    To me it's got some basketball field feeling

  • edward

    Very cool design work but when citizens want a house designed around their cats, one can see where the demographics in Japan are headed.

  • ept

    needs more windows

  • Greenish

    That window round the doorway is cool, but does reduce the potential for looking to see who has knocked, and pretending you are not in :)