House of Silence by FORM/
Kouichi Kimura Architects

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Japanese studio FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects designed this concrete house in Shiga to be deliberately alien to its neighbours (+ slideshow).

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Named House of Silence, the two-storey building contains rooms with split levels and varying ceiling heights, creating a segmented structure with overlapping volumes and protruding walls. "The client wanted to have a house which is not influenced by the environment of its location," explains architect and studio founder Kouichi Kimura.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

"This house will give you the experience of going through a variety of sequences, like going through cloisters with the light," he adds.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: photograph is by Kei Nakajima

The roof staggers up to its highest point in the north-west corner, creating a tower that Kimura refers to as a belfry.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Unlike the surrounding houses, most of the building's walls and ceilings are concrete and the architect has also picked out a few surfaces with textured ceramic tiles.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

A small courtyard contains seating areas slotted into horizontal recesses.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Some furniture inside the house uses the same materials as the architecture, so tiled worktops appear to extend from the walls and a glass dining table rests upon a precast concrete base that matches its backdrop.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

One long concrete wall extends along the north-west facade, enclosing a large parking area for residents.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Japanese architect Kouichi Kimura set up his studio in Shiga in 1991 and other projects he's completed include the House of Representation that features a large light chimney and the House of Integration based on traditional folk houses.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

See more stories about FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects »

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Photography is by Takumi Ota.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Here's some more information from Kouichi Kimura:


House of Silence

The client wanted to have a house which is not influenced by the environment of its location.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

This architecture, which is composed of a concrete volume, has not got many windows and is closed by walls, but has got a variety of space inside that you will never imagine from outside.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

The rough concrete finish, shiny tiles and an opening like a belfry will give you a hint of the variation of spaces inside.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

The inside spaces are divided by the ceiling height, the different levels of floor and type of lights, and are then connected by the circulated line of flow.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: photograph is by Kei Nakajima

The inner court is cut off from the outside environment and shows a variety of expressions as the light changes.

House of Silence by FORM Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: photograph is by Kei Nakajima

Moreover, the contrast of the height makes the space even deeper and wider than it actually is.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

This house will give you the experience of going through a variety of sequences, like going through cloisters with the light.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: photograph is by Kei Nakajima

It exists as a landmark in the town, but it also has highly secured privacy and variety of spaces inside.

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: photograph is by Kei Nakajima

Architects: FORM / Kouichi Kimura Architects
Location: Shiga, Japan

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Client: Private
Construction Year: 2012

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Site Area: 394,42 sq m
Constructed Area: 321,23 sq m

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: ground floor plan

House of Silence by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Above: first floor plan

  • http://felixnowack.com Felix

    Sorry, could be a perfect location for a Japanese horror movie.

  • H-J

    A very cool concept. I’ve never seen a crematorium where you could spend the night.

  • dom

    Mausoleum.

  • http://www.archiquotes.info ArchiQuotes

    Not only is architecture “the art of wasting space”, it is also a means to waste your money!

  • Colonel Pancake

    The new purpose of Japanese architecture is to hide Anne Frank.

  • Chris

    Oh goody, can’t wait for other crap architects to start referring to their contextual ignorance as “deliberately alien”.

  • http://renderingofarchitecture.com/ Raul Alfaro

    Curious and hardcore house project. Very massive and closed from outside, more open and transparent from the inner spaces. Very personal, singular and modern design. Beauty furniture with class and style.

  • Greenish

    God it does look like a crematorium doesn’t it? But I do like the jade-green line of tiles in the courtyard, a lovely detail in the grey mass.

  • sparkle*

    If it wasn’t for architects, the world would be in a very sad state of affairs and if Prince Charles had anything to do with it, it would all be “Mock” Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian Wimpy-style homes etc. And no-one wants that!

    New concepts should be embraced! This is quite extreme but also beautiful. The house is amazing. My only gripe is the interior: I am a big fan of concrete but inside everyone should embrace colour! It lifts the mood and brings positivity! This stark interior could definitely do with a colour enhancement.

    • Concerned Citizen

      You need to just embrace this new concept as it is, according to the first sentence in your second paragraph. You can't have it both ways.

    • zizi

      “New concepts”? This stuff is as new as Victorian. Bauhaus is 100 years old for C***** sake!

  • dick c

    Very nice! A little heavy on gray for me, but wonderful spaces.

  • jon

    I quite like it myself; if I lived there it'd be difficult to get me out of the house on weekends. But I think that's the idea.

  • Concerned Citizen

    While the forms are interesting, it seems that no one could live in such a sterile environment. It really does look spooky inside.

  • lh thompson

    Does the sun ever shine around there? Grimly beautiful.

  • concerned student

    “House of silence”? More like “House of reverberating (even the smallest) sounds”. All these hard surfaces!

  • walrus

    Lovely. A few good rugs and some wallpaper and this could be a great living space.

  • http://twitter.com/DaisyFerg @DaisyFerg

    I’m pretty sure I want to smile when I see my home. Or parts of it. And not a single thing about this makes me smile.

  • http://twitter.com/nervositee @nervositee

    British tri-color wall-to-wall carpet and some flowers maybe?

  • Pyotor Sveldetsky

    Beautiful structure, but too gray for my taste. I hope they balanced bare concrete, white walls and textured tiles. Also, a white marble floor would have been very nice for the space.

    Three plants and a Bang & Olufsen TV are the only indications of life. Heck, even the dog is a stone.

  • blah

    Oh my goth! Brutalism is back… and it’s lovely!

    • Bob

      But that is not Brutalism.

  • CHRISTINA T.

    I used to live in a house that was built in 1938, very light and fairy-like and I loved it till the moment thieves broke in with guns. So when I look at this, in a strange way I feel safe!

  • jaishree mishra

    This whole building defines the silence of emotion vs cool and real vs simulated.

  • zizi

    “Designed this concrete house in Shiga to be deliberately alien to its neighbours.”

    Well, mission accomplished, this really screams paranoia and alienation. Cool use of volumes and light though.

  • Antônio Marcelino

    A gothic would love to live there.

  • noname

    Dear Japanese, with this new style of unisex architecture, you are loosing your own old (native) architectural identity.