Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Almost a hundred small square windows scattered across the walls, ceilings and roof of a house in Tokyo allow its occupants, a deaf couple and their children, to sign to each other through the walls even when the children are playing outdoors.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The two-storey house by Japanese architect Takeshi Hosaka is named Room Room.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Ceramic pots resting on surfaces in the two ground floor rooms hold tall plants, which grow up though some of the ceiling openings to the open-plan first floor.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

From here, a ladder leads up though a skylight hatch to a terrace on the roof.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

We've featured a few projects by Takeshi Hosaka on Dezeen, including a noodle restaurant resembling an igloo - see all the stories here.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Photography is by Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Here's a project description from Hosaka:


RoomRoom (House for hearing Handicapped persons)

This is a house where deaf parents and two children are living.

The two sides of the premises are facing narrow roads in an overcrowded residential area in Itabashi ward, Tokyo.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The small main building built five years ago became so narrow for dwellers for three generations that they bought a piece of land neighbouring their house to build an annex.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The house consists of two small rooms at the first floor, one big room in the second floor and the roof.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

It is two stories with box shape construction with many small openings only 200 mm squares randomly installed on the walls, floors and the roof.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The openings of 200 mm square on the floor are used as atriums or as practical openings for communications between the first and the second floors.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Communications are done through this small opening verbally between children with hearing capability and communications between parents without hearing capability and children with hearing capability are done by sign language.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Children sometimes call their parents' attention by dropping a small minicar.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The openings on the walls are useful to take air and light from outside and in addition, they are used as a communication tool between a small garden and indoor.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

In the same way, the openings between the rooftop and the second floor and between the rooftop and the first floor not only work to take light from outside but also help communication of sign language.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

And also, the tree set up in the first floor is sticking out to the second floor passing through four or five 200 mm square openings. From this, the 200 mm openings become a conduit for human beings, plant, wind and light and human being communications to extend the inside and outside of the house in length and breadth in all directions.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

It is possible to converse with sign language if we don't have hearing capability.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Communications by sign language easily pierce through the window which separates the inside and the outside of the house.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

The small 200 mm square openings are installed at various places like the floor, roof, and wall and children with hearing capability, parents without hearing capability look very free and vivid and plants, light and wind are dynamically circulating from inside to outside.

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Architect: Takeshi Hosaka
Structural Engineers: Nobuo Sakane
Client: Jyunichi Oshiro

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Name of the project: RoomRoom
Exact definition of the building: a couple and two boys

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Location of the project: Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Construction nature: wooden-structure

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Site: 58.43 m2

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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Building area: 36.00 m2

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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Floor area ratio: 72.00 m2

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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Building height: 5450 mm

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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No. of floors: 2F

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

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Building function: house (annex)

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka

Design: May 2010 – September 2010

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka
Planning start: May 2010

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka
Beginning of construction: September 2010

Room Room by Takeshi Hosaka
Completion: December 2010

  • Dzjenga

    Claustrophobic

    • Lucas D.

      I agree. Living in an enclosed space with only marginal contact with the world outside is detramental to a person's health, let alone an entire family. No matter how interesting a design experiment may be, when the result is a danger to the health of it's occupants, to my eyes it's a design failure.

  • edward

    The Japanese take an idea…and beat it into the ground. But I admire the clients openness to the, ah, unusual in design. But then, these children will grow up. And then again the omnipresent utility lines might be reason enough to shut out the exterior.

  • cacas

    I tought this was an original "safe for kids" project. Than I saw the stairs.

  • http://dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

    Design as a means to empower people with special capabilities = WIN.

  • nitchy14

    weird project.

  • Macpod

    and i bet that photo was taken with a long exposure, judging by the overexposed windows. in reality the interior probably needs artificial lighting even during the day.

  • memaybe

    The stairs are seriously questionable. The sentiment behind the rest of the design however should be applauded.

  • Wei

    I am always wondering why Japan doesn't bury all the utility lines under ground.

    • stefan

      earthquakes, that's why

  • e1o27

    this feels like a built idea, or an experiment, which is refreshing, but the reality doesn't quite deliver for me. i'm not sure the best (or most spatially interesting) way to physically and visually connect spaces is via 200mm square openings, but then again i do like a complicated raumplan (in fact this kind of looks a bit like the villa muller from the outside!?) and the interior does look wild dark in the 4th from last photo! i love the lack of pretense and overwrought details in some domestic japanese projects (though yea, your kids will have to learn pretty quick not to goof around on the stairs).

  • ocean | of | air

    so poetic so beautiful .. it was a pure pleasure to walk throught this family story + JAP culture ..

  • tchan

    The fact there are plants growing inside is evidence that there is plenty of natural light inside. I think a lot of commenters are confused over the design because they're not used to seeing a structure that is built to be functional and not just decorative.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Kornik Krzysiek Drewniak

    I love this one! It's intravertic but that's a great response to the unatractive neighborhood.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christina.kappou Christina Kappou

    the japanese always always have amazing light quality in their spaces – also perfect proportions.. apart from that, the rest of the world needs more space to live in. but they make poetic spaces nevertheless..

  • martini-girl

    Can it really work?

    If the design intent is to build a house that aids communication between people who are deaf then why make the windows only 200mm small? And why make so many of them? The latter onlycauses confusion.

    If the design problem is that a mother or father can't hear their children through disability, then sight would become the most important factor in the design of this house.

    So these windows – too small to see through and too high/low to create sight lines – fail.

    Surely an open plan house with large windows would have been far more practical?

  • http://www.brgstudio.com nulla

    Japanese always close to the environment, so that's not the point here. A very fashinating project. Of course with one big glazing the interior would have been brighter, and it would also have been cheaper, and so on… but it would not have been the same thing. This is how architecture works.

  • https://www.facebook.com/antonia.lindsey Antonia Lindsey

    I love it. Just enough room to "frame" the conversation like we do in ASL; perfect. Love the design and the spaces, amount of enclosure, visual rhythm, simplicity. Beautiful. Open with large windows is nice, but also can be a problem when people are backlit, we can't read you that way. Better to have small focused lighting or general illumination in the room. Open spaces are good to sign in. I thought this was wonderful. Any of you Deaf? Understand how sight functions within visual signed languages?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Olileo Pratchyawat Ole Kamla

    โนราหน้าต่าง น่ารักเว่อร์

  • JM

    Awesome!