Housing in Onmae
by VIDZ Architects


Chunky concrete boxes form a grid of secluded balconies across the facade of this apartment block in Kyoto by Japanese studio VIDZ Architects.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

The architects explain that the five-storey building is located on a main road near "many factories", so the balconies have high concrete walls to "ensure privacy".

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

Windows infill the spaces between each balcony, with translucent glazing that also helps to maintain privacy for residents.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

The building was completed in 2007, and a concrete stairwell connects it with a second block completed by the architects back in 2000.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

Offices with exposed concrete walls occupy the top floor of the block and open out onto a terrace with a view of the city skyline.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

We've previously featured an apartment block with a mask of wooden louvres, as well as one with indoor balconies for keeping an eye on who’s coming and going.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

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Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

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Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

Photography is by Yoshiharu Matsumura.

Housing in Onmae by VIDZ Architects

Elevation - click above for larger image

Project credits:
Principle use: Housing
Location: Kyoto,Japan
Completion: 2000 (1st), 2007 (2nd)
Site area: 925.58 sq m
Total floor area: 1,969.86 sq m
Number of stories: 5F
Structure: RC

  • Tyler

    Only an architect could love that place.

    • H-J

      True, I love that place!

  • Paulo

    Beautiful design, terrible taste.

  • Jon

    This could definitely be the set of some psycho-horror movie.

  • WOW. Really risky and singular housing project. Nice formal exercise in treatment of inside and outside spaces, specially the main front to the street: the brutal front of concrete cubes. Very good use of materials, cold and strong concrete with heat and homeful wood, amazing game of opposites. Excellent and personal job.

  • Klaas

    Japanese are naked all day?

  • mksh

    Even as an architect, I’m not sure I could withstand the temptation to paint the walls white. Or a bit whiter, at least…

  • OgierdeBeauseant

    Not for the faint of heart but, by god, you will feel secure – no big bad wolf is going to blow this house down. Only the Japanese really appreciate raw concrete these days.

  • freakydeeky

    …with an enclosed concrete patio complete with drain, ensures complete privacy and convenience when washing up blood, offals and other discharges.

  • lara
  • HYKO

    Beautiful and gutsy.

  • The entrance’s concrete volume makes for an asymmetric touch next to the facade’s pattern.

  • Sad that an architect getting his thrills will affect people’s lives for decades until it is modified or demolished one day. Mainly the enclosed would have been delightful human spaces if there were openings for a view. The architect though some cool design idea of a solid concrete volume was more important than people. Of course now the architect is over his fetish but the people will have to endure it. I bet he would never live there!