House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects


House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Here are some images by photographer Iwan Baan of a house by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, where rectangular windows puncture three layers of walls and ceilings.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Located in Oita, Japan, House N was constructed in 2008 to accommodate a couple and their pet dog.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Openings in the outer wall and roof aren't glazed, so the patio garden, bathroom and kitchen contained behind are open to the elements.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

A bedroom and tatami room are encased behind the second layer, where all window openings are infilled with glass.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

The innermost layer closes in around the centre of the house, wrapping around a living and dining room.

See more projects by Sou Fujimoto here, including a stack of four house-shaped apartments.

Here's some more text from Sou Fujimoto Architects:

House N
Oita, Japan

A home for two plus a dog. The house itself is comprised of three shells of progressive size nested inside one another. The outermost shell covers the entire premises, creating a covered, semi-indoor garden. Second shell encloses a limited space inside the covered outdoor space. Third shell creates a smaller interior space. Residents build their life inside this gradation of domain.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

I have always had doubts about streets and houses being separated by a single wall, and wondered that a gradation of rich domain accompanied by various senses of distance between streets and houses might be a possibility, such as: a place inside the house that is fairly near the street; a place that is a bit far from the street, and a place far off the street, in secure privacy.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

That is why life in this house resembles to living among the clouds. A distinct boundary is nowhere to be found, except for a gradual change in the domain. One might say that an ideal architecture is an outdoor space that feels like the indoors and an indoor space that feels like the outdoors. In a nested structure, the inside is invariably the outside, and vice versa. My intention was to make an architecture that is not about space nor about form, but simply about expressing the riches of what are `between` houses and streets.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Three nested shells eventually mean infinite nesting because the whole world is made up of infinite nesting. And here are only three of them that are given barely visible shape. I imagined that the city and the house are no different from one another in the essence, but are just different approaches to a continuum of a single subject, or different expressions of the same thing- an undulation of a primordial space where humans dwell. This is a presentation of an ultimate house in which everything from the origins of the world to a specific house is conceived together under a single method.

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Architects: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Sou Fujimoto, principal-in-charge;
Yumiko Nogiri, project team

Consultants: Jun Sato Structural Engineers, structural
Structural system: reinforced concrete

Major materials: reinforced concrete
Site area: 236.57㎡
Built area: 150.57㎡
Total floor area: 85.51㎡
Structural Composition: RC; 1 story
Design Period: 2006 – 2007
Construction Period: will be completed in 2008

Design team: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Consultant: Jun Sato Structural Engineer

  • teefy

    Absolutely love this. Surprised it has not been up here before, it's such a well published project. Not the most practical usage of the available space, but wholeheartedly poetic and sculptural. So many Japanese houses close themselves off from the outside, often to the extent of having no external windows, whereas this totally opens up and plays with the notion of enclosure and the relationship between inside and out – and in a beautiful way. It's such an important and influential house. One of the top ten anywhere in the last decade I reckon.

  • navarry

    Love the creative and use of thinking outside the box….. all perimeters have a hand in the overall concept and architectural language…… thumbs up

  • Indulgent, wilful, wasteful…but absolutely brilliant

  • edward

    Looks like a prize winning student design, An unconscionable waste of the client's money.

    • DCV

      I'd love my money to be wasted like that.

    • tony

      Hey ED, Go and live on a commercial office floor-plate. Maximum space minimum cost/ imagination/ vision.

  • Inmenso

    So…you build a wall around the perimeter, extend it up and above with some voids to make it look nice, and suddenly it's "outside the box thinking" and "lovely".

    I have to agree with Edward…waste of the client's money. As usual with Sou Fujimoto.

    • Rafal

      You know that the clients are his inlaws, don’t you?

  • I am not to sure if I like it or not, what I do like is the light, loads and loads of it.

  • Night time pics would have been nice to see.

  • I think this is an important project. I’m not sure if it’s wasteful, maybe it is, but it certainly provides a new and different kind of space – one that we are not used to. It plays with notions of inside and outside, privacy and territory in a fresh and interesting way.

  • Natalia

    I like the overall look of the house. But being a practical person my next thought is: who is cleaning all the windows? :)

  • L.A.

    I used to find this house elegant but now that I know that Sou Fujimoto is not paying his interns at all, I see it under a different light: