NDA Planter
by no.555

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Plywood boards in a variety of colours generated the multi-tonal concrete facade of this house in Yokohama by Japanese architects no.555 (+ slideshow).

NDA Planter by no 555

The house is located at the top of a hill in the Yamate Bluff neighbourhood, a popular tourist area filled with western-style houses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. However, architect Takuya Tsuchida of no.555 didn't want to reflect the appearance of these buildings too closely. "I believe that building design should both respect and challenge the potential of an area and the direct environment," he said.

NDA Planter by no 555

The concrete walls of the house were cast in-situ and took up pigments from the different plywood panels, which were arranged in a stretcher pattern to create the impression of over-sized brickwork.

NDA Planter by no 555

Large rectangular openings puncture each elevation, revealing plant-filled terraces on each floor of the three-storey house.

NDA Planter by no 555

On the upper floors these terraces offer views over the city, while on the ground floor one of the openings is used as a driveway.

NDA Planter by no 555

Residents can enter the house on the first floor as well as the ground floor, as a metal staircase climbs up to one of the terraces.

NDA Planter by no 555

An open-plan kitchen and living room benefit from the views on the top floor, while bedrooms are at ground level.

NDA Planter by no 555

Other houses we've featured from Japan recently include one with a boat-like living room and one with a skewed upper storey.

NDA Planter by no 555

See more stories about Japanese houses »

NDA Planter by no 555

Here's a project description from the architects:


The project NDA (Planter) is located on top of a steep slope in "Yamate Bluff", Yokohama, Japan. This area offers panoramic views over the city and the Mount Fuji.

NDA Planter by no 555

In the vicinity there is a small but beautiful park that has many preserved houses and is popular among tourists.

NDA Planter by no 555

The "Yamate Bluff Load" is an area featuring many retaining walls. The texture and the facades' overall appearance is inspired by this particularity.

NDA Planter by no 555

Reducing the standard size of the concrete panels affected the amount of mortar joints, thus creating a somehow more busy pattern.

NDA Planter by no 555

Another intention was to accentuate the "handmade feel" with a rich variety of concrete hues and a random layout of the concrete panels.

NDA Planter by no 555

Several plywood colors were used for the moulds in order to "transfer" the diversity of the hues onto the concrete panels. This technique could be considered as a natural counterpart of the application of lye.

NDA Planter by no 555

In addition the project's goal was to combine the conflicting client's requests: offering large openings to enjoy the magnificent views, while having some privacy from neighbours.

NDA Planter by no 555

The building is a wrapped cube where the only necessary voids are cut off to allow light and air to flow inside.

NDA Planter by no 555

A sense of openness is given thanks to the big outdoor terraces. The building itself is almost like a planter.

NDA Planter by no 555

The layout of the openings follows a vertical and horizontal imaginary grid.

NDA Planter by no 555

The cutouts of the facade welcome "plants gardens" on each floor.

NDA Planter by no 555

Time alters things, seasons weather stones. Architecture is a part of that natural process.

NDA Planter by no 555

Nevertheless I am convinced that architecture can survive for a long time and co-exist with the surrounding environment.

NDA Planter by no 555

NDA _ "Planter"
Location: Yokohama , Japan
Architect: no.555 _ Takuya Tsuchida
Structural design: frame works _ Megumi Akimoto
Purpose: single family house

NDA Planter by no 555

Design period:2010.08 – 2011.03
Construction period: 2011.05 – 2012.05
Site area: 494.14 sq m
Floor Area: 188.00 sq m

NDA Planter by no 555

Above: timber formwork during construction

  • Donkey

    At last, a Japanese house with sensible stairs.

    • Dave Gronlie

      Actually, those were only in place during the construction of the house. They were removed soon after that photo was taken.

      Regards, D.

  • http://twitter.com/burtja @burtja

    I really like this.

  • Jack

    Those interior white-ish walls are great – are they cast with OSB and painted?

    • http://www.dezeen.com Dezeen

      According to the architect, it is a recycled woodchip cement board. Amy/Dezeen

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    A bit too brutal for daily living, IMO. But I like the interior spaces.

    • Derek

      Especially the bedroom.

  • http://majalahdesainrumah.blogspot.com majalah rumah

    The design is so simple but stunning. I like it.