Suppose Design Office's House of Tousuienn
has translucent plastic walls

| 13 comments
 

The translucent polycarbonate walls of this house in Hiroshima by Japanese architects Suppose Design Office allow natural light to flood the interior from all sides (+ slideshow).

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_2
Photograph by Takumi Ota

Named House of Tousuienn, the three-storey building was designed by Suppose Design Office as the residence of a family of five, who also requested a space for storing and repairing a collection of motorcycles.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_4
Photograph by Takumi Ota

The long and narrow shape of the site dictated the shape of the house. It is surrounded on three sides by neighbouring buildings, so the architects added translucent cladding to allow light to permeate the interior without comprising residents' privacy.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_5
Photograph by Takumi Ota

"Most exterior walls are thick and heavy," said the architects. "For the House of Tousuien, we used a thin and translucent material to replace the regular exterior walls, where natural light can be maximised in the interior space."

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office
Photograph by Takumi Ota

Windows are made from the same material as the walls, so they don't offer any additional light but can be opened to allow residents to let fresh air into the building.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_15

At night, lights glowing from within transform the building into a huge lightbox along the streetscape.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office

"The client can fully experience [the] change of the surrounding nature inside the house with a warm and bright space," added the architects.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_17

A steel structure made up of I-beams is on show inside the building and has been painted white. Concrete ceilings are left exposed, while the floors encompass a mixture of concrete and timber.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_12

The motorcycle room occupies the entire ground floor and features wide sliding doors for easy access.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_11

A small maintenance room sits in the centre of the space, while bicycles can be stored behind a staircase leading to the living spaces above.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office
Photograph by Takumi Ota

A kitchen, dining room and living room are grouped together on the first floor, with a bathroom positioned behind.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office

On the uppermost floor, an enclosed children's room in the middle of the space creates a barrier between two larger bedrooms on either side.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_16

Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's a short project description from Suppose Design Office:


The House of Tousuien

The House of Tousuien is located in a quiet residential area, and it is designed for a couple and 3 children. The three sides of this house are surrounded by other residence buildings, and the shape of the site forces the house to stay long and narrow.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_9

Most exterior walls are thick and heavy, where windows are added to balance out the heavy look of the exterior. For the House of Tousuien, we used a thin and translucent material to replace the regular exterior walls, where natural light can be maximised in the interior space.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office
Photograph by Takumi Ota

In the House of Tousuien the client can fully experience change of the surrounding nature inside the house with a warm and bright space.

House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_23
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_24
First floor plan - click for larger image
House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_25
Second floor plan - click for larger image
House in Tousuienn by Suppose Design Office_dezeen_26
Long section - click for larger image
  • Mr. Tapsucker

    Ahhh, the stuff you can do without building, energy or fire codes…

    • DK405

      Japan has some of the most stringent codes in the world. Stop making comments if you don`t understand what your talking about.

      • Mr. Tapsucker

        Others here have posted the obvious two issues that all modern building codes take into account:

        -thermal efficiency.
        -fire protection

        As you appear to be an expert on Japan’s building codes, perhaps you have insight into why this home clearly contravenes these standards. In addition, perhaps you could shed light on what clients would live happily with this level of intrusion of light and noise. Then there is another issue in common we are seeing in the Japanese homes posted here of open railings, or no railings on stairs and balconies. This may possibly be acceptable code in Japan, but is truly bad safety that seems to be perpetuated by irresponsible academic architectural experiments in form, not safe practical homes.

  • smack

    Woah. Wow. Very cool. I don’t really have any issue with a lack of insulation, but I do wonder about the light pollution it might give into a neighbour’s windows.

  • RuipedrO

    Lovely freezer!

  • LOW

    It looks amazing but I’m thinking about the insulation. Would it need some?

    • Singleglazedmind

      They don’t need it in Japan, they have (or had) nuclear generated electricity galore to burn away, American style. Just have a look at Fujimoto’s glass house in Tokyo, another aquarium, single-glazed, no proper frames.

      The resident’s basically rely on hardcore air-conditioning all year-round – haven’t you seen always the silly air conditioning units on virtually all Japanese housing projects ? Voilá the secret.
      And having been to Japan many times I can tell you… summer is hot hot hot (40 degrees easypeasy) + humid humid humid, and in winter… well, it’s below zero, snow and all the rest.

      Japan is the single-glazed architectural heaven. All those yummy sauna super transparent buildings – single glazed magic my friend!

    • J

      Considering the climate in that part of Japan: No.

      There are usually very few cold days in the year (compared to Western Europe or North America). I think insulating the house would waste more resources than the additional heating required for those few days.

      I’d be worried about the greenhouse-effect in summer though.

      • bubble

        I live in Japan where the temperature does not get below -10 and it is cold. We are using heaters and have to pay huge electricity bills because someone like you thought that it would be cheaper to use the aircon all year round. It is pain to get out of bed in the morning.

        The project listed above is probably very uncomfortable to live in and very expensive in maintenance from my point of view. Completely agree with Singleglazedmind.

  • longarche

    Agreed – heating and cooling?

  • mikele

    Beautiful.

  • Paramount Interiors

    Really clever idea. I can see why this has been done and I think it’s a great idea to get natural lighting into an office. However, to me it’s not aesthetically pleasing.

  • Edda

    Where is the space for storage whatever? It looks rather a suite in a hotel, in my opinion.