Hiroyuki Shinozaki's House I features stone walls
surrounding a ribbed dome

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This small house in Japan by architect Hiroyuki Shinozaki features volcanic stone walls and a ribbed structure that forms the shape of a dome over the central living space (+ slideshow).

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Named House I, the single-storey house is home to a family of three in Tochigi Prefecture.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Hiroyuki Shinozaki specified a local stone called Ōya Tuff for the building's outer walls, which was sourced from a nearby quarry.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

"We designed a house which is enveloped and connected to [its] surroundings," said Shinozaki. "This house is not so much just a box as an enclosure."

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

The whole interior was designed with an open-plan layout that centres around the family living room. This space sit directly beneath the dome, which was built using a timber frame.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Eight ribs radiate from the centre of the ceiling to the floor to divide the space into different segments. These informal partitions define areas for eating, sleeping and studying around the perimeter of the house.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

According to the architect, this helps to make the space feel bigger. "The slope of the big roof and the deformed enclosure accentuate the sense of perspective," he said.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

One segment functions as the entrance lobby and one another opens out to a small terrace at the rear of the building.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Wooden ladders lead up to small lofts on top of cupboards, while various skylights help to bring light through the house.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

House I is the latest in a series of residences by Shinozaki that are named after letters of the alphabet. Others include House H, which is filled with Y-shaped wooden columns, and House T, which features rectangular holes in the walls and floors.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Photography is by Fumihiko Ikemoto.

Here's a project description from the architects:

House I

This house is for a family of three persons in the area of houses and fields spreading. Each life space is divided by the stone wall mined locally and by the radiated wall supporting big roof. Because the site is located at the end of a blind alley, it has atmosphere of comfortable deep-set. Moreover it has kind of openness. We can have glimpse of gardens, fields and laundries in next houses. People have good relationship and make the usual greetings over the gardens and come to see stepping over the stone fences in this area.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

In there we designed a house which is enveloped and connected to surroundings. This house is not so much just a box as an enclosure. In some place the enclosure plays a role as exterior wall having an entrance, in other place as the stone fence having view to surroundings. The interior walls spread radially in the deformed enclosure. The family will live with irregular distance getting together, falling away and getting behind in that radiated walls.

This radiated walls supporting big roof make different size of void and make the enveloped space with arch opening in the centre of house. The slope of the big roof and the deformed enclosure accentuate the sense of perspective. We can have the view point of spreading from the centre at the same time leading to the centre.

We intended to design the house in which the life is enveloped and connected to the surroundings by the composition of enclosure and division.

House I by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

Client: family
Location: Tochigi, Japan
Site area: 218.89 sqm
Building area: 91.76 sqm
Gross floor area: 91.76 sqm
Completion date: October 2013
Structure: wood frame, 1 storey
Maximum height: 4.83 m
Design team: Hiroyuki Shinozaki, Sota Matsuura, Tatsumi Terado Structural Studio
Structure engineer: Tatsumi Terado Structural Studio
Contractor: Masuken, Inc.

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  • Luciano

    Where the hell do they sleep?

  • Julie G

    I like the concept, but couldn’t live without privacy. I would hope there are enclosed options for sleeping, bathing etc. I like the communal nature of the living environment, as opposed to the fragmented nature of most homes – but it only works if you live in a family that’s not too dysfunctional. Otherwise, yikes.

  • Romain_M

    Japanese architects are providing a lot of great experiments with space. A lot of the pieces shown here read like brick-and-mortar essays on privacy and communal living.

    Still, I wouldn’t live in half the spaces shown on this site, my euro-centric upbringing wouldn’t allow it.

    I know the Japanese have “love hotels”, but are Japanese architects really making the assumption that their clients lead sexless lives?

    And you’d be hard pressed to prove me that sex has nothing to do with domestic architecture. Just calling your house a “nest” implies procreation (if not wild roll in the hay).

  • Göran Carl Heintz

    What do they do in the middle? A huge dining room? Seems unpractical.

  • Sam

    With little change, this could be a nice nursery school.

  • Antônio Marcelino

    This house is not for everybody! I would say maybe only to a couple who doesn’t want to have children at all : )

  • DK405

    Kazuya Morita – Pentagonal House?

    • Alon Barkay

      What a ripoff! Incredible, and notice how much better the original one is detailed. The delicate curve, the wooden ceiling, the proportions and fixtures.

      I think the Dezeen needs to post an apology for not mentioning the original in the article.

  • Gary Walmsley

    I like this. In general I find the Japanese approach in modern architecture too spare and severe (I don’t feel that way at all when they worked in traditional materials of wood, bamboo and stone). But this house with it’s rounded shape and arches is a delightful surprise.